The Anaheim Union High School District (AUHSD) is probably the most politicized school district in the county, at least in terms of using district resources to advance political causes and help candidates. For example, under the leadership of AUHSD Trustee Al Jabbar and Superintendent Mike Matsuda, the district has waged a political campaign seeking to undermine public support for charter schools – using district resources to host and publicize the screening of the subtly Islamophobic anti-charter school “documentary” Killing Ed, and publishing an op-ed calling for a moratorium on charters. The district also organized a pressure campaign to push the Anaheim City Council into giving it a dedicated portion of the city budget.
Teachers union activist Ryan Ruelas – an trustee of the Anaheim Elementary School District – has built a student club called AnaheimBROS, who serve as campaign workers for Anaheim’s close-knit network of progressive politicos – including Ruelas’ school board campaign and the Measure L districting initiative in Anaheim in 2014. This year, they’re the de facto Jose F. Moreno Youth League, walking precincts for the leftist Democrat’s council campaign and following him around to events.
Which leads us to the most recent example of the politicization of AUHSD under Jabbar and Matsuda. Last Monday, October 24, dozens of members of AnaheimBROS (and its sister group CROWN) – led by Ruelas – were transported in two AUHSD buses to an Anaheim City Council candidates forum, where they functioned as a cheering section for Moreno. From the OC Weekly:
“School buses brought a batch of kids from Anaheim High School to watch democracy in action at the newly opened Arab-American Community Center on Beach Boulevard. With Anaheim High School teacher and city school board member Ryan Ruelas seated at the front, his students, wearing Anaheim Bros and CROWN (Civically Raising Opportunities for Women) shirts, cheered wildly whenever Moreno made an emphatic point.”
AUHSD Stonewalling Media Requests For Information
No doubt Ruelas and the district will claim this was simply a school excursion to give students a peek into the democratic process – but is anyone going to buy that? OC Daily e-mailed several questions about the matter to Superindent Matsuda, Ruelas and the district PIO:
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