Reject the Recall of Hacienda La Puente School Board and Support Foreign Language Acquisition
The Confucius Classroom is a Chinese language and culture program similar to France's Alliance Frances, Germany's Goethe Insitute, and the U.S. State Department's Bureau of Language and Culture. It promotes the understanding of Chinese language and culture, strengthens cultural cooperation, and encourages friendly relationships between China and other nations.
Thanks to a partnership with the U.S.-based Asia Society, it is already in place in more than 60 schools across the United States. Hacienda La Puente Unified is the first district to establish the program in Southern California, and it is one of the most popular electives at Cedarlane Middle School.
Since the inception of the program, a small group of individuals have opposed the class and denounced the teaching of Chinese language and culture, claiming without evidence that the Confucius Classroom will be a vehicle for Communist brainwashing. The opponents regularly attend meetings to accuse board members of being Communist Chinese agents.
Most recently they served notices of their intent to recall the four board members who supported the program: Jay Chen, Norman Hsu, Joseph Chang and Anita Perez. Several of the opponents do not live in the district and most do not have children attending school in the district.
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We the undersigned, urge the residents of Hacienda La Puente Unified to reject the recall petitions against Chen, Hsu, Chang and Perez, and to reject the attempts by a small minority to take away an enriching program that has been embraced by the students and parents of Cedarlane Middle School.
We believe that learning a foreign language as widely used as Chinese is critical to the success of our students and our country.
We reject the blanket demonization of an educational program merely because it is supported by China, our largest trade partner and the second largest economy in the world.
We welcome opportunities to expand educational opportunities at no added cost to taxpayers during a time of economic crisis.
We reject a wasteful and meritless recall attempt that would cost the school district more than $150,000 during a time of economic crisis, and that seeks to remove two board members mere months before the natural end of their 4-year terms.
Please sign our petition to stand against fear and xenophobia and to support foreign language learning and global awareness.
For more information please visit these sites::Jay Chen's interview on The Daily Show with Jon StewartLos Angeles Times article on Confucius Classroom controversyAssociated Press article on Confucius Classroom controversyAssociated Press article on recall effortCopy of Notice of Intent to Recall