Ugly New Video Emerges of Interboro School Board Official Christine Alonso at BLM Protest
Her claim that she's never used racist language doesn't exactly hold up.
A roundup of Philly news. This article may be updated at any time as new information becomes available.
More Trouble for Interboro School Board Treasurer Christine Alonso
You’ve probably seen the video of Interboro School District board treasurer Christine Alonso acting up during a Black Lives Matter protest in the very white Delco borough of Ridley on the first day of August. She was seen screaming at Black Lives Matter protesters. She was seen giving them the finger. In point of fact, two fingers. And there were allegations that she made racial remarks to the protesters.
Many people called for her removal. The Interboro School District board issued a statement saying that it lacks the power to remove a sitting board member, although the board vice president did issue a public statement of his own calling for Alonso to resign. And Pennsylvania State Senator Tim Kearney, who represents that area, has now called for her resignation as well.
The whole time this saga has been playing out in Delco, Alonso has maintained that she never used racist language to the Black Lives Matter protesters. She did apologize for the bird-flipping, but maintained that she’s no racist. And in her apology, which was really more of a statement saying that she wouldn’t be resigning, Alonso felt the need to make the I’m a “proud wife of an immigrant and a mother of four biracial children” argument in her defense. (Her statement has since been deleted.)
Well, now there’s new video that adds to the case against her. Over the weekend of the protest, 6 ABC aired video of Alonso yelling, “I am so racist, yet I fought for you.” (Translation, based on my conversation with Alonso as well as a public statement she issued: I was in the Army, so that means that I fought for your right to protest, and yet you are calling me a racist.) But what 6 ABC didn’t show you was what came immediately after that.
Just after she made the remark about fighting for the protesters’ rights, she called out to one, “Stay over there, ho.” Then she followed it up with a real zinger: “Go get your welfare check. I know you ain’t got a job.” (According to two eyewitnesses, she directed that comment at a Black woman who was part of the Black Lives Matter protest.)
Here’s the video:
Meanwhile, calls for Alonso’s resignation continue to grow. The petition now has more than 9,200 signatures.
“She is a disgrace and should not represent the community,” Leann Hanisco, a 2008 Interboro High School graduate, told me.
Alonso did not respond to a request for comment.
Philly Schoolteacher Angers the Right With His Comments About “Conservative Parents”
As we all know by now, Philadelphia public-school students will be learning online when classes start in September. This means that instead of learning in the classroom, where no parents are present, they’ll be learning at home, where parents might overhear what’s being taught.
One Philadelphia public schoolteacher took to Twitter to express his concerns about the consequences of that at-home learning environment. That educator is Matthew Kay, a founding teacher at the Science Leadership Academy and author of Not Light, But Fire: How to Lead Meaningful Race Conversations in the Classroom. And here is what Kay had to say on Twitter recently: (His account has since been set to private, and he could not be reached for comment.)
So, this fall, virtual class discussion will have many potential spectators — parents, siblings, etc. — in the same room. We’ll never be quite sure who is overhearing the discourse. What does this do for our equity/inclusion work?
How much have students depended on the (somewhat) secure barriers of our physical classrooms to encourage vulnerability? How many of us have installed some version of “what happens here stays here” to help this?
While conversations about race are in my wheelhouse, and remain a concern in this no-walls environment — I am most intrigued by the damage that “helicopter/snowplow” parents can do in the host conversations about gender/sexuality. And while “conservative” parents are my chief concern — I know that the damage can come from the left too. If we are engaged in the messy work of destabilizing a kid’s racism or homophobia or transphobia — how much do we want their classmates’ parents piling on?
Naturally, conservative media outlets are having a field day with this. The story was picked up on Fox News on Monday night. The conservative blog Daily Wire went with the headline “Teachers Openly Fret That Parents Might Hear Them Brainwashing Children, Call Parents ‘Dangerous’.” Oh, and then there’s this doozy: “Teachers Busted Complaining Online School Will Interfere With Liberal Indoctrination Of Kids.”
Of course, Kay’s concerns are completely valid. Which is why I’m buying both of my kids some cheap-o earbuds for any virtual learning they have to do this fall.
Beware the Dreaded “Sea Lice” at the Jersey Shore
Last year, I reported on those terrible biting flies at the Jersey Shore. No, no. Not the greenhead flies, but rather, those newish black-and-brown flies that seemed to be everywhere.
This year, I’ve been to the Jersey Shore several times, and I think I’ve maybe been attacked once by a fly, and I’m not sure if it was a greenhead or one of those other bastards.
I was getting ready to declare victory over the flies, but then I learned that there’s another scourge at the Jersey Shore: sea lice, which are jellyfish larvae. There have been multiple reports of sea lice on the southern part of the Jersey Shore. The recent tropical storm seems to have carried them in.
If the phrase “sea lice” sounds awful to you, just wait until you see what see lice can do to your skin, courtesy of this photo from the University of Florida:
The rash can be itchy and painful. In the most severe attacks, a trip to the hospital might be required.
So the fly count is down. The sea lice presence is up. You might think this sort of balances things out in terms of your overall Jersey Shore experience. Alas, the spray sunscreen people are still out in full force. You can’t win.
And Briefly Noted…
- The great Pennsylvania school reopening debate continues.
- A COVID mask fracas at Sesame Place, of all places.
- No, a 250-person pool party does not a good idea make.