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Guest Editorial: Sell While You Can Get Top Dollar

Local elected officials are supposed to be more accessible to the people they serve because they are members of the same community. This doesn’t mean city council or school board members will agree with every constituent who reaches out to them, but at the very least they should be respectful and accessible in discussing local issues that affect both. Unfortunately, the Los Alamitos Unified School Board (through its President Marlys Davidson) doesn’t appear to care what parents have to say unless it supports the school board’s Ethnic Studies elective that is based on Marxist Critical Race Theory agenda.

On July 7, 2021, Seal Beach resident Staci Muller sent an email (including a link) to LAUSD Superintendent Dr. Andrew Pulver and the entire school board about her concerns regarding the district teaching Ethnic Studies and how this might be affecting property values. As a reminder, for decades being part of the LAUSD was one of the key selling points for people who planned to rent or own and even a key element in convincing residents to vote for a bond to finance new construction at Los Alamitos High School.

From: Staci Muller
Sent: Wednesday, July 7, 2021 10:46 AM
To: Dr. Andrew Pulver; Diana Hill; Meg Cutuli; Marlys Davidson; Chris Forehan; Scott Fayette; Ondrea Reed
Subject: How do you plan to handle this? The parents want to know!

The parents want to know what your plan is! We are creating huge groups of people for homeschooling now. If you have a plan I would let the parents know ASAP!

*On a side note a very well-known parent in Rossmoor sent me this message yesterday:

“I spoke to one of our neighbors in Rossmoor who has been renting her home for years. She’s never had a problem because people always want to move into Rossmoor for the good schools. She spoke to her real estate agent and the surrounding neighbors and so many people are leaving Rossmoor because of the critical race theory stuff. Now she’s having a tough time renting her home since the tenants literally moved out so quickly. (The tenants are parents with kids in the district.) She said she used to talk to realtors who would send her people and now all the realtors say they don’t have anyone because everyone is heading for Utah, Texas, Florida, Arizona, Tennessee, etc.”

It seems that LAUSD President Davidson believes in ignoring constituents who don’t agree with her board’s left-leaning tilt. But Ms. Muller was not just sharing her concerns. She specifically wanted to know the LAUSD’s plan since the anti-Christian, anti-Semitic, anti-American Critical Race Theory embraced by LAUSD (and given flowery names to rebrand the curriculum as Ethnic Studies) has caused concern among some homeowners and renters served by the school district. The worry might not make sense to President Davidson, but she should still have been more respectful and responsive to one of her constituents.

Ms. Davidson responded to Ms. Muller’s parental and homeowner concerns with a “let them eat cake” response:

On Wed, Jul 7, 2021 at 11:29 AM Marlys Davidson wrote:

Thank you for sharing your concerns.
Mrs. Davidson

Ms. Muller quickly responded to Ms. Davidson’s insulting response by again asking what the LAUSD board’s response is to this growing concern:

From: Staci Muller
Sent: Wednesday, July 7, 2021 11:39 AM
To: Marlys Davidson
Subject: Re: How do you plan to handle this? The parents want to know!

You’re welcome lol.
How will you as a board be handling this?

Less than a half-hour later, the insolent Ms. Davidson replied, once again proving that if you do not adhere to her views, she doesn’t give a damn what you have to say:

Davidson responded:

PS – You might want to sell now while you can still get top dollar. I am off to an agenda planning meeting. Have a nice day.

There are many parents and concerned community members served by LAUSD and others who work and/or shop in Los Alamitos that have deep concerns about the district revising its education focus from the iconic Three R’s of Education “Reading, ‘Riting and ‘Rithmatic” to “Reading, ‘Riting and Race.”

The focus should be on the basics. Currently less than 60 percent of LAUSD students meet or exceed standard math requirements!

Ms. Davidson might not care, but these parents and/or homeowners are very concerned about LAUSD stomping on Dr. Martin Luther King’s historic call to judge people by the content of their character rather than the color of their skin. After all, Critical Race Theory (with rebranding names like Ethnic Studies, social justice, culturally responsive curriculum etc.) is a racist curriculum designed to divide the United States of America by teaching students to judge people by the color of their skin.

Our students will graduate with many moving outside of LAUSD, which means this issue affects all Americans. This is why we are appreciative of concerned citizens who live or work outside the district but are involved in what the LAUSD is doing.

Instead of indoctrinating students with Marxist propaganda that goes against everything Dr. King stood for, LAUSD should focus on the basics that our children will require to be successful and productive members of society. Its board members, beginning with President Davidson, should also be more courteous to parents served by the Los Alamitos Unified School District.

This guest editorial was written by Jeff Barke, M.D., the President of the Rossmoor Community Services District and Staci Muller, a Seal Beach Resident.

36 Comments

  1. For those living in my hometown of 25 years, Rossmoor, and are missing Shakespeare by the Sea for the second year in a row, I assure you that the best live theater in town was the recorded 7/13/2021 RCSD meeting. It was only a few feet away from where the Shakespearian stage is often located. This was only my second meeting and my first ever in attendance. I was never so proud of my community reminding Dr. Barke that his role as President is to not throw his own community under the bus. What kind of CEO would ever consider doing such a brazen behavior?

    Hey, Hey, Ho, Ho, Partisan Politics Has Got to Go!

  2. Super odd as Jeff Barke responds not at all to his own constituents. Hmmmm….

  3. Barke the guy who goes on video being interviewed and shows his handgun and tells us it’s his protection against COVID-19. He has an obvious Napoleon complex and feels like a tough guy with his handgun. I am sure he never served in the military. I question everything he stands for. He actually went to court to defend 3 High School students in Newport Beach who raped and ravaged a young High School girl. His defense of these rapists was that they would suffer undue hardship with no regard for the victim. That’s all I needed to know about Barke.

  4. What is the motivation behind the falsehoods, innuendo, and character attacks contained in this bogus editorial by Jeff Barke and Staci Muller? Their contention that property values will suffer if an Ethnic Studies elective is approved by the LAUSD is absurd. Their Critical Race Theory and Ethnic Studies descriptions contain not a shred of truth as the most basic research shows. And there is something clearly wrong with people who invoke Martin Luther King to promote ignorance in the classroom. So what is the objection to an elective course that tells a more complete picture of the American people and their contributions to our country? Why do Barke and Muller oppose American students learning about each other? It’s certainly not for the reasons given since these are demonstrably false. In choosing Big Lies to further their ends, Barke and Muller find common cause with the white nationalists and racists who harassed and heckled high school students speaking in favor of Ethnic Studies at school board meetings. Subsequent in-person meetings had to go virtual because of racist threats and police security concerns. In a way, this unholy alliance makes sense as Barke and Muller harass and attack school board president Marlys Davidson using this publication. She is unfairly singled out in what were all unanimous school board votes. Let’s listen to students who bravely spoke their minds even after being insulted by racists probably three times their age: “It’s not our differences that divide us. It’s our inability to recognize, access, and celebrate those differences.” Another said, “We are a District of inclusion. I believe that if people are willing to come in here and harass students and anyone who they find different, then they are people we should never listen to.” That’s really good advice for the rest of us.

  5. Very strange my posts continue do be deleted simply stating public information. First Amendment certainly not valued here.

    1. Amy,

      Thank you for reading Orange County Breeze, and for taking the time to comment on this article.

      Your comments are not being deleted wholesale. They are put in a queue to be reviewed. Sometimes that causes a delay.

      As for your assertion regarding the First Amendment: Orange County Breeze is not a government entity. We are not Constitutionally required to allow anyone a platform for expression of their views. All we are doing is enforcing a civil discussion.

      Again, thank you for reading Orange County Breeze.

      Shelley Henderson
      editor, Orange County Breeze

  6. why are my comment being blocked?

    1. Joanne,

      Thank you for reading Orange County Breeze, and for taking the time to comment on this article.

      Your comments are not being blocked. Comments wait for review, and are sometimes delayed because the person doing the review is busy elsewhere.

      Again, thank you for reading Orange County Breeze.

      Shelley Henderson
      editor, Orange County Breeze

  7. From the NY Times: o be sure, migration to other states is a significant part of the story, as well. But as an analysis of census data by the Public Policy Institute of California found, the people who headed for another state largely haven’t been the wealthy, educated tech workers whose departures for Miami or Austin have been the cause of much hand-wringing.

    Rather, the people moving into California tend to be more educated and wealthier than the people leaving, according to the analysis: From 2015 to 2019, California gained 74,500 working-age adults with a bachelor’s degree or more — and lost 465,500 working-age adults with less than a bachelor’s degree. Over the past decade, California actually gained almost 114,000 high-income (defined as making more than $138,750 a year) working-age adults.

    And while some former Californians have loudly proclaimed that they’re taking their families and dollars elsewhere out of distaste for the state’s liberal politics, almost half of the adults who left California in the 2010s said they left primarily for jobs, and nearly a quarter said their primary reason for leaving was housing.

  8. Maryls Davidson was one of the kindest, encouraging, and intelligent teachers I ever had the honor of learning from in my middle school days. I think people that actually have valid arguments would not attack and belittle the members of their community that serve them. That usually leads to more division rather than actual solutions. As a alumni of the district, I could not be more proud the the work they are doing to make sure every student feels accepted and included in the student body. I know I didn’t.

  9. Using anecdotal hearsay not based on the current market here in Rossmoor to dispairage our property values does seems to be a strange message for the president of our district.

    Full disclosures would show integrity. There is none. The author should include in this article that he served on this district’s board and the target of this article beat him his last run. In addition, disclosing that he has served on the committe overseeing construction on the bond measure he alludes to as a tax expert at the Lincoln Club. Neither of these things have been disclosed.

  10. The two individual authors should take their own advice and “sell everything” and find a new home in a place like Boise, ID Prescott AZ, or the great State of Jefferson. The RCSD and OC Board of Education are being used for political purposes by Mr. and Ms. Barke instead of their intended missions. More exposure of this and one or two election cycles and we can fix that problem for good.

  11. Are you hiding comments or am I having technical difficulties?

    1. Otiosebellicose,

      Thank you for reading Orange County Breeze, and for taking the time to comment on this article.

      The staff is amused by your handle: Otiosebellicose = LazyHostile or PointlessHostile. Why not your real name?

      Regarding whether we were hiding comments: it is the policy of Orange County Breeze to curate or moderate comments. If a comment fails our criteria, we delete it.

      Our criteria are straightforward. Among the criteria: no name-calling, no unsupported bad-faith assertions, responsive to the article.

      Sometimes those doing the comment-moderating are busy. This morning moderation was delayed due to staff being in meetings.

      Again, thank you for reading Orange County Breeze.

      Shelley Henderson
      editor, Orange County Breeze

      1. In other words, you edit to fit your narrative? Because there is some nastiness in these comments, they just happen to be one sided.

        Why would you care about someone’s “handle”. They often are just something of personal meaning. I think it’s clever.

        1. Anabel,

          Thank you for reading Orange County Breeze, and for taking the time to comment on this article.

          No, we do not edit to fit our narrative. We enforce a minimal standard of behavior to block a Heckler’s Veto.

          Regarding the “OtioseBellicose” handle: we were amused, as stated. That is all.

          Again, thank you for reading Orange County Breeze.

          Shelley Henderson
          editor, Orange County Breeze

          1. You seem to be hiding my comments as well. Seems rather fishy.

          2. Joanne,

            Thank you for reading Orange County Breeze, and for taking the time to comment on this article.

            Nothing fish going on with your comments. They, along with all the others, were placed in a moderation queue to wait consideration for approval. Sometimes there is a delay if the person doing to review is busying elsewhere.

            Again, thank you for reading Orange County Breeze.

            Shelley Henderson
            editor, Orange County Breeze

      2. It is obvious you are deleting comments that do not break rules. This author did not fully disclose he was on the board, beaten by the target of this piece. In addition, did not disclose he is on the committee overseeing a the construction from the bond measure referenced. Why factual info would be deleted is…interesting. This is all public information.

        Thank you

      3. please read the name calling comment below by Eleanor. Stick to your policy regardless of the political poing of view.

  12. Also, both Jeff and his wife Mari—both elected city and county officials—have blocked me on Twitter. So it seems pretty hypocritical to write an article complaining about school board members not responding…

    1. Otiosebellicose,

      Thank you for reading Orange County Breeze, and for taking the time to comment on this article.

      Technically, Dr. Barke is an elected member of the Rossmoor Community Services District, which is not an incorporated city.

      Personally, I do not hold it against either Dr. Barke or Mrs. Barke that they block other Twitter users. The atmosphere on Twitter has become so toxic that we do not monitor the Twitter feed for Orange County Breeze. It is altogether incompatible with reasonable dialogue. If you want to engage in a conversation, try sending an email.

      Again, thank you for reading Orange County Breeze.

      Shelley Henderson
      editor, Orange County Breeze

  13. Because of rude loudmouths like Denise M. and Larry, there are many Rossmoor residents who quietly support Dr. Barke. You don’t see their names in letters to the editor, but you know the majority is out there applauding what Dr. Barke is doing. They just don’t want to deal with rule loudmouths.

    The majority in Rossmoor support Dr. Barke. That’s why he received so many votes when he ran for the Rossmoor Community Services District board, where he serves as president.

    As to the LAUSD, I know many who deeply regret voting for the very weak Diana Hill who has proved that she is a liberal Democrat with her endless support for critical race theory aka ethnic studies. My guess is that the spineless Ms. Hill will not run again. Dr. Barke would have still been outnumbered on the current LAUSD board, but at least he would have fought for conservative values.

    Thank you Dr. Barke for all you do!

    Eleanor H.

    1. Better watch your tone, Eleanor. If you call people names, they will delete your comments!

      Im surprised your comments are still up, seeing as you called people plenty of names:
      “rude loudmouths”
      “very weak Ms. Hill”
      “spineless Ms. Hill”

      Hmm

      Anyways, Denise’s comment was anything but rude so it seems uncalled for…

    2. He barely won the RCSD election and he won because he ran as part of a 3 person block, one of whom lost. Mr Barke is not widely supported by residents. The school board election was a message that he was unwelcome. There were 2 candidates running to remove him and their combined numbers beat him by over 1,000. The most recent school board election of 2 new members, cemented the attitude in opposition to Barke and his partisan, conspiracy driven agenda. What we hear from him now are the dying breath sounds of a guy who sees his future desire to rule Rossmoor shrinking off into the sunset. The community gave him a resounding NO to his shenanigans with the OCBE.

  14. To Larry’s comment about Dr. Barke being tossed off the Los Al School Board – you have a short memory. Dr. Barke wasn’t “tossed off” anything. He was subjected to a nasty, far left-wing hit campaign paid for by the well funded far-left teachers unions who were threatened by his common-sense approach to the basics. He lost that election by a mere handful of votes. The next election will tell whether or not the voters in Los Al agree with the racist & divisive garbage know as Critical Race Theory that teaches children to hate on the basis of their skin color & currently being endorsed by the Board of Education will stand. I think these board members are in for a rude awakening.

    1. There are so many lies and so much hyperbole in this article, it’s an embarrassment. Barke does not speak for our community nor the RCSD. His brand of hate and divisiveness in unwelcome by the vast majority of our community ( you won’tfind them reading on this propaganda platform. ) His vitriolic lies and attacks on the person who beat him in his bid to destroy the LAUSD is pathetic.
      Mr Sour Grapes is getting a big old middle finger from Rossmoor.
      People with children are moving here FOR our schools faster thsn houses are available. Such as pitiful attempt to self promote and spread his poison.

    2. Larry that is patently untrue. Two candidates ran AGAINST him for the very purpose of removing him, after years of his attempts to block science and impose his political agenda into the curriculum. Hundreds of grassroots community members, myself included, wore out shoes, canvassing to change the culture of the school board. And, we were successful. WE PAID for it. And the more recent election cemented the healthier attitude on the board, by adding two new common sense members. When you add the 2 candidates that ran against him, he lost by a very significant margin. CRT is NOT being taught in ANY public school. CRT is college curriculum for higher level course work. CRT does not teach hate. CRT teaches history based on facts and puts it in perspective of both the amazing successes of our nation and the mistakes made that continue to infuse the laws and institutions today. Sorry you don’t like truth, but teaching fantasy is not doing our children any good. The community supports EDUCATION based on fact, not your political ideology or the desire to hide from the truth.

  15. Go Jeff! When will you be back to livestream with me?

    1. Yes! Please do another livestream, I want to hear him talk about the lives he saved. I’ve read on our patriot group from people who said he saved the life of their brother in law, unfortunately the poor fella had a multitude of health conditions prior to catching covid.

  16. My Rossmoor home is worth more today than any time in the past 32 years I’ve owned it. We have several families who rent in our street, and they have no plans to move. I just spoke to 3 real estate agents who agree our fine schools continue to bring buyers in. I am guessing that the author has an agenda against the school board since he was ousted. As an aside, Mr. Barke has not had the courtesy to respond to the last 2 emails I sent him as an RCSD director. Pot meet kettle.

    1. Yes he does he lost his position on a few years ago and opened up his own charter school that he’s trying to dismantle public schools and only have charter schools schools

      1. And he was granted his permit to open the charter school because his wife is on the Board of Education. The Orange Unified Schools did not want his charter school and denied him because he lied on the application. No surprise there.

        1. Joanne,

          This comment was almost deleted because of your unsupported assertion that Dr. Barke lied on the application for Orange County Classical Academy.

          Rather than delete it, I will ask that you provide the lie that is the basis of your assertion. In what way did he lie?

          Also, how does his wife serving on the Orange County Board of Education force the school district to grant the permit to open the charter school?

          Again, thank you for reading Orange County Breeze.

          Shelley Henderson
          editor, Orange County Breeze

  17. Of course Barke is using your website to self publish his bullsh¡t! Maybe the guy who only wanted to talk AT others should unblock all of us he blocks on social media and post it there. Dr “Quack” doesn’t like the fact that people are onto his nonsense and exposing it. The voters of Los Al tossed him of the School Board and the voters of Rossmoor will can him the next chance they get!

    bit.ly/JeffBarke

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