Vice President, Lynn Maloney Steps Down from Race Matters, Friends Executive Board... Offers Closing Thoughts
It was five years ago, and just two nights before Thanksgiving that a group of us came together and created Race Matters, Friends (RMF) as a group to confront racism in Columbia, MO. A year and a half later, we became formally recognized as a 501(c)3.
This week I chose to step away from the organization’s Executive Committee. What I have learned about racism, activism, and the city of Columbia has affected me deeply, and I am proud of the work RMF continues to do as I step back to integrate all that I have experienced.
What I am chewing on right now is the reaction of the Columbia Public School district to RMF’s request for information regarding the district’s social equity work. As racial disparities for discipline are commonly recognized as a reflection of the school-to-prison pipeline, RMF engaged several school administrators and was assisted by the ACLU in requesting records about the CPS’ equity practices.
From May of this year until the present, we requested records. We had conversations with students, their parents, and administrators in person and via email. The Chief Equity Officer has demonstrably failed to perform her duties, as outlined in a detailed job description, which was recently removed from the CPS website.
The upshot? The Chief Equity Officer, Carla London, filed a police report and protective order for herself and her children against our president. The judge dismissed both protective orders. Friends have asked me what happened, understanding that this was bizarre. Others, have simply believed the validity of Ms. London’s unsubstantiated claims. Please read the documents filed by Ms. London, attached here. You will find no evidence of wrong-doing as accused. What you will find, is a series of emails between RMF and the Chief Equity Officer asking for questions to be answered.
RMF’s inquiry into racial equity at Columbia Public Schools came after the President of the Missouri NAACP asked us to advocate for a mother whose child had been wrongly arrested by the police department. Since that time we have learned of four cases pending against CPS regarding harmful disciplinary practices.
Black millennial scholar and PhD student, Sharon Aniyam joined RMF at our Executive Committee Retreat last weekend. RMF benefited from hearing about her racial justice activism in the UK. She also helped us integrate the work of our retreat in this podcast,which she created as part of her research while visiting the US. Listen here: Retreat Reflections with Race Matters FriendsAn episode of The Millennial VSCOholar, By The Millennial VSCOholar with (Sharon Aniyam, Traci Wilson-Kleekamp and Lynn Maloney)
Columbia Warrant Amnesty Dec 9-20, 2019
"This warrant amnesty applies to outstanding warrants from Columbia Municipal Court for anyone facing arrest for failing to appear for traffic and parking tickets or other City of Columbia ordinance violations."
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 8, 2019
CONTACT: Andrea Wymer
Municipal Deputy Court Administrator
City of Columbia
Columbia Municipal Court offers warrant amnesty Dec. 9-13 and 16-20, 2019
of Columbia Municipal Court is offering a warrant amnesty for two weeks, Dec.
9-13 and 16-20, for individuals who wish to turn themselves into the Court.
This warrant amnesty applies to outstanding warrants from Columbia Municipal
Court for anyone facing arrest for failing to appear for traffic and parking
tickets or other City of Columbia ordinance violations.
Individuals who voluntarily turn themselves in will have the outstanding
Municipal warrant recalled and will be given an opportunity to resolve the case
that day if they so choose or will have a new court date set to resolve the
case. Anyone who participates in the warrant amnesty must promise that they
will attend all future court dates. A failure to do so will result in a new
warrant being issued. Individuals wishing to take advantage of this opportunity
may turn themselves in at 9 a.m. each day or on any scheduled docket at
Municipal Court, 600 E. Broadway - second floor, each day of the two weeks of
Dec. 9-13 and 16-20. Individuals who show up at other times will be placed on
the next available docket that day.
Municipal Court hours are 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Monday through Friday,
including the noon hour. Citizens are able to check to see if they have a
warrant on the City of Columbia Municipal Court’s website at this link:www.como.gov/Court
Citizens can visit in person at 600 E. Broadway, email: MunicipalCourt@CoMo.gov
or call at 573.874.7298 if they have questions.
The decision to offer the warrant amnesty by Municipal Court Judge Cavanaugh
Noce is intended to give a person a chance to get back on the right track by
resolving or setting their case for a resolution
"A person can choose to be accountable and come in on their own time, or
risk being arrested by officers when the warrant amnesty expires. It is my
hope that citizens who have been afraid of going to jail will take this
opportunity for a fresh start and come in on their own to get their City
warrants recalled," Noce said.
City of Columbia Vision Columbia is the best place for everyone to live, work, learn and play.
City of Columbia Mission To serve the public through democratic, transparent and efficient government.
CPD Officer Faces Discipline for Wrongful Arrest at Smithton Middle School
I think it is appropriate and welcome that Chief Jones made his decision public. We should also understand that these kinds of outcomes are attributable to decisions made by management.
I personally don't support one SRO serving six middle schools for free, partially paid, or for a substantive contract service delivery amount. I object to arresting kids on the whims of school officials' use of hearsay and no investigative effort, not to mention zero conflict resolution effort. I'm not sold at all that SROs provide any kind of better or safe environment for students, particularly students of color.
So -- in a world where kids are a real priority, Dr. Stiepleman would have already jointly apologized with Chief Jones and told the community that they would work together to make sure this doesn't happen again. This would include reviewing their lack of following procedure and protocol and collaboratively developing restorative practice tools rooted in anti-racism. Public apologies are perfect for building trust and so is the kind of transparency that recognizes unforced errors that cause material impact and harm.
Race Matters, Friends is calling for Carla London's resignation because she should have been in front of this issue, supporting her principal, and providing guidance and demanding accountability. Instead, she attempted to marginalize the student and her family as problematic.
CPS has taken no responsibility for their poor judgment and lack of restorative practice when complaints of harassment were made We've seen London's rude apathy too often among administrators towards parents and reports of harassment, bullying, and conflict, and the denials need to stop too.
If the Chief Equity Officer can't manage a serious crisis like this and do it publicly to maintain and build public trust in her office, IMHO, she's unqualified for the job. Is the CPS board awake?