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Published May 10th, 2023
Letters to the editor

Traffic safety in Lafayette

I am writing to share my thoughts about the city of Lafayette and their efforts to improve traffic safety. As a resident of this wonderful community, I have noticed that the city has been taking some great steps to make our roads safer for everyone.
One of the things that I have noticed is that Lafayette has installed more stop signs and traffic lights in areas where they are needed the most, and also has more crossing guards. This helps to slow down drivers and reduce the risk of accidents. Additionally, the city has added more crosswalks and pedestrian signals, which make it easier for people to walk around safely.
Overall, I am satisfied with the efforts that Lafayette has made to improve traffic safety. These actions have made a positive impact on our community and have helped to ensure that everyone can get around safely.
Naoto Watanabe

Want to defend girls' sports? Your neighbors may cancel you

Recently I published posts on NextDoor and Facebook's Lamorinda Community defending the right for biological females (i.e. women and girls) to safely and fairly participate in sports. This is one of many issues that drove me to the Women's March in 2017. As a former high school varsity basketball player and continuing athlete, I know the protections afforded by Title IX extend to the playing field as well as locker rooms and safe spaces.
But now basic opinions about fairness for women are being called "transphobic in the guise of feminism" and on Nextdoor: hate speech. Yes, hate speech. Apparently, my post there has been taken down and some neighbors are now calling me a TERF, or trans-exclusionary radical feminist. Basically, it's a derogatory term meant to shut people down.
Tendencies to block opinions we don't want to hear are also revealing themselves through laws passed in Sacramento (see AB 2098), and in pledges and bias reporting systems in our local schools. As someone who has been working as a substitute teacher since the omicron surge, and who has actively attended school board meetings and DEIB workshops, I understand these have been implemented with good intentions. But what they are also saying is that you are now responsible for how others feel and if they don't like it, then a report can be filed against you. It can even be anonymous. Fortunately, even the Lafayette School Board has acknowledged how few reports have been filed.
As Eleanor Roosevelt said, "No one can make you feel inferior without your consent." I'm a pretty confident person. I know who I am and I know what I believe. I will continue to stand up. But make no mistake, we are shutting down opinion and free speech - and now even the protections for women and girls. We should all be concerned.
Lauren Herpich

Put enforcement of BP 6144 on school board agenda

All four Lamorinda school districts have a similar Board Policy 6144: Controversial Issues. Acalanes High School District's (AUHSD) BP 6144 states in part: ". the District's educational program may sometimes include instruction related to controversial issues that may arouse strong reactions based on personal values and beliefs, political philosophy, culture, religion, or other influences.  Instruction concerning such topics shall be relevant to the adopted course of study and curricular goals  [and] shall be presented in a balanced manner, addressing all sides of the issue without bias or prejudice and without promoting any particular point of view."
"The teacher shall not use his/her position to forward his/her own religious, political, economic or social biases.  teachers act on behalf of the District and are expected to follow the adopted curriculum.  Students shall be assured of their right to form and express an opinion . instruction shall not reflect adversely upon persons because of their race, ethnicity, national origin, sex . If the guest speaker is presenting only one point of view on an issue, the teacher shall be responsible for ensuring that students also receive information on opposing viewpoints."
Based upon information from parents and its website the AUHSD is teaching the racial tenets of Critical Race Theory and the sexual fluidity principles of Queer Theory (Gender Studies) without contrary traditional viewpoints from social science, biology, and religion. Speakers at recent board meetings have discussed the misuse of academic class time for promotion of these programs. For examples, see links from "Equity Work at Campolindo" at www.acalanes.k12.ca.us/domain/925 and "Google Form for Pronouns Available" at www.acalanes.k12.ca.us/Page/3459.
Please contact the District and instruct them to place the enforcement of BP 6144 on a board agenda for public debate per AUHSD's Bylaw 9322. Email the board at schoolboard@auhsdschools.org
David Berti
Robert Lavoie

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