In November of 2012 the Maria Montessori School of San Diego sent a letter to us, requesting that our two children of Oglala Lakota and Lumbee Native American heritage and students of the school, to stay home from school for four days. During the four days the school hosted Thanksgiving Day activities that were offensive to the Native American traditions. Earlier that month the family addressed the school's planned Thanksgiving Day activities through several discussions with the school which resulted in the kids being asked to not come to school. The school's festivities included feather headband making; unauthentic Indian naming ceremony; and "play acting" as Indians. The school also requested the students to come dressed as an Indian or a pilgrim during the same week [MMS Flyer to dress as an Indian]. Further discussions led us to pursue other school options for our daughter, Jada after learning that the school decided to stay with the offensive curriculum during Thanksgiving 2012 and after being wrongly accused of "hounding" school participants in an effort to speak out about the offensive activities. Jada was then dis-enrolled by us to avoid further chance of encountering similar activities or retributive interactions with students or school officials.
Our story was told based on encounters we experienced and are now being sued by the school's owners, Argonauta Educational Programs, Inc., for defamation. We are now in the process of raising funds for these unwarranted lawyer fees and with a family of six with husband James (active duty-US Navy) out of the country on a tour of duty, as you can imagine our budget does not include lawsuits. We have retained a lawyer willing to work with our financial situation but to help with the cost of court and lawyer fees this "Go Fund Me Account" was created.
I can't even add any commentary on this, I'm too angry and my blood pressure is already high after yesterday. But we can do better than this, folks. We have to do better than this, and they need our help.