Tomales High-"Home Of The Brave"
By Judy Borello
The Shoreline School District trustees held a special meeting on March 6th, and the community showed up in droves (350+). Trustees on Feb. 15th had voted 4-2 to drop Tomales High School's Braves; later to be rescinded at the March 6th meeting.
The March 6th meeting turned out to be one of the most colossal dog and pony shows ever put on by any political faction in our community. There were Indians from as far away as Montana, actors from Los Angeles, and an assorted number from outside our community which were rude, disrespectful, and knew absolutely nothing about the heritage of Tomales High School. We were mislead and felt offended by their speakers calling us racists and demanding that the Braves should go. The crowd was 75 percent in favor of the Braves and let it be known by their applause (overwhelming) for the Braves, and the lack of it for the opposition.
What was most important to the community at large was the fact that our own people of Miwok ancestry unanimously felt honored by the "Braves," and Indians on the outside of our district were divided on the issue. It was at this meeting that I learned that Mr. Terry Hughy, the Tomales High School principal, for two years has been the "seed" of skullduggery, committing dastardly deeds and keeping them from the public who pay his salary, enforcing his own personal political agenda by abusing his power, and undermining the students, parents, alumni, and the faculty. In September 2000, long before the issue of the Braves was voted on, Mr. Hughy blatantly had pictures and trophies removed; they were partially retrieved by football coach Lem Feliciano from the garbage!
These pictures and trophies are sacred to Tomales High as they represent the heritage and history of the "Braves" and honored the alumni who went before.
If we destroyed Indian artifacts, we'd be in jail post haste and be indebted the rest of our lives to them, and rightfully so!
Mr. Hughy's action in this matter are a travesty, lauding a total disrespect for the school and its community which he serves.
Education at Tomales High is at an all time low. It is rated at the bottom of schools in Marin County (look up Great Schools.com), and the ratio of students to teachers is a lot better than other schools. Mr. Hughy should have been putting his energies into education instead of indoctrination.
Now Mr. Hughy is trying to white-wash himself as the culprit who trashed the pictures and put the blame on the janitors (who I know would never do that without a direct order). Just like on a ship, even if a lower-ranked officer made a tragic mistake, it all ends with the Commander of the ship being responsible. Just as you've seen on TV lately with the US submarine sinking a Japanese fishing boat.
Mr. Hughy is the first in rank and the head of the school and should be brought to task for his actions and a letter of protest sent to the administration. I believe that if the allegations are substantiated, Mr. Hughy should be fired, restitution should be made to the school, and possibly even a jail sentence for destroying school property.
As for the two trustees on the school board that have ignored the majority of the community and promoted their own personal agenda, they should probably be recalled, even though it would cost the Shoreline School District some money. They have a duty and an obligation to serve the community; not their own global, personal or political agendas. That's the consensus of many people who supported the Braves.
Tomales High School is a real gem that should be protected and respected. With most small high schools going extinct across America, this attempted debacle that just took place over the Braves dispute could cripple or destroy the school for good. I would venture to say that if an election were held today on the parcel tax, the community is so disenchanted with the principal and the two board members that the parcel tax would be defeated.
As to the history of our area, the white man didn't obliterate the Indians. Our coastal lands were under Spanish land grants from Mexico and when the Spanish tried to control the Indian population, they enslaved, incarcerated and killed many of them. Just look up the building of Mission San Raphael and understand what happened to the local natives. When the American settlers got here, there were very few Indians left and the settlers befriended them and absorbed them in the community as one people.
Just ask Suzanne Rocca, Virginia Jensen, and Cecil Sanchez, and other local people of Miwok ancestry if they ever felt racism out here in West Marin!
PS It's a crying shame that our Indians within our own community weren't even respected enough to be asked by Mr. Jim Love, Mr. Gus Conde, or Mr. Hughy, each who have expounded an enormous amount of rhetoric about respect for indigenous people, what they (our own local Indians) thought about the issue. And once Jim Love, Gus Conde and Hughy found out what our locals thought by expressing themselves in letters and vocalizing at meetings, they still chose to ignore them.
How pugnacious, arrogant, and rude! And most of all, hypocritical.
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