The People have spoken

Eduardo Martinez, Reporter

A packed Curriculum committee meeting at the Levan Center on Oct. 20 resulted in the passage of the César E. Chávez Leadership Certificate of Completion, which includes two noncredit courses. 

The room was filled with committee members, concerned citizens and police officers. Because so many people wanted to comment on the proposed courses, they were only allotted one minute to speak. Public comments took nearly an hour to complete.

The vast majority of speakers came out to support the courses. A local history teacher said that these classes should not be considered controversial as they would explore the rich history of farming in Kern County. She believed the resistance to teaching these courses is due to the potential negative exposure of people in power. History professor at BC Olivia Garcia, who helped co-author the following courses, said to have in faith in that the courses will be taught in way that is fair. Maria Romero, an educator over 25 years, said she feels a sense of identity, community and pride in these proposed courses. “There’s nothing partisan about that… Culture should not be suffocated. I urge committee to approve these courses.”

 Rudy Salas and Dolores Huerta both sent speakers on their behalf to voice their support for the courses.

One public speaker did not approve the courses. Local radio talk show host Terry Maxwell said BC should be a place of learning and he considers these courses indoctrination. Maxwell hopes that the courses will give all positions of César E. Chávez, especially his stance against immigration.

Most of the 20 speakers who provided public comments supported the courses and certificate in history and culture. The curriculum committee voted pass them through with a few no votes and abstentions.

Now these courses will go to the KCCD for final approval.