Alma d’arte /Charter High School
402 W. Court Ave.
Las Cruces, N.M. 88005 3 March, 2022
Attn: Kayla Martinez, Principal
Dear Mrs. Martinez,
I am writing to you concerning an article that was put into the Las Cruces Sun News Sunday, February 27th. The article was entitled “Why Street names with Indigenous slurs should be changed”. I believe this letter to have been written by either Ms. Kayla Myers or Mr. Ramon Padilla who are doing no service to their students in what they are teaching them. FACTS need to be addressed and some of these things written for everyone to see are not true. Let’s start with the tribes that whomever wrote this article state are here in the Las Cruces area. The Chiricahua tribe’s people are either in Ft. Sill Oklahoma or are in Mescalero New Mexico, they are NOT in or around Las Cruces. The Jumanos disappeared as a distinct people by 1750. The Sumo people live on the Eastern Coastal plain of Nicaragua. The history teacher needs to get their FACTS straight.
Secondly: The move by Mrs. Flores, Las Cruces City Council, to change the name of the street called “Squaw Mountain Drive” to something else was contested and the Councilor was found lacking and came up short in her efforts. The Street name will remain the same. What this History teacher has failed to teach their class is the concept of DEMOCRACY and the FACT that in the United States we stand by the principle of “Majority Rules.” I myself took an exception to what Mrs. Flores tried to do. I sent her and the whole City Council the Etymology of the word “Squaw” which means in the Algonquin language “woman” The notion that the word originally referred to a woman’s body part, as some have claimed since 1970 has been discredited. She did not want to accept this and indeed she did not go and speak to her constituents that lived there as she should have done. I myself sent a letter to each of those homeowners and explained to them what their Councilor was trying to do to them and the hoops they would have to jump through and the money they would have to expend if the councilor was successful. None of this was explained by either Mrs. Flores or Mrs. Bencomo to their constituents . To follow up with that letter I personally went to Squaw Mountain Drive and took a petition for them to sign and more than 70% did not consider “Squaw” to be Derogatory. I have to ask, did this History teacher bother to take their class out to Query ANYBODY about this issue or did they just go onto google and read what was said. I have even been to the Mescalero Tribal Offices in Mescalero and queried quite a few individuals there, of the Mescalero Tribe, and they do not think it is derogatory and they have no such word in their vocabulary.
Third: This teacher, whether it be Ms. Myers or Mr. Padilla is going down the wrong road and misleading and misteaching the students under their wing when they teach the Acronym AFAB or “assigned female at birth”. This is patently untrue as no single person in this entire WORLD is assigned a sex at birth. You are born either a male or a female. There is NO ONE that can assign you a sex at birth and this type of teaching needs to stop. As your students know or should know that when a sonogram is taken BEFORE BIRTH the sex of the baby can easily be ascertained. So, before a baby is even born the parents will know what sex that baby is. Hence, “REVEAL” parties to tell everyone what they are having be it a boy or a girl. This type of teaching MUST CEASE!
Fourth: From what I see in the article this teacher, whichever one it is, is teaching Critical Race Theory and is trying to indoctrinate the students that go there in a Marxist / Socialist fashion. There are a lot of us that have been opposed to the LCPS School Board implementing these ideas and we will continue to press forth in battling the school board in their endeavors. The use of BIPOC (Black, Indigenous and people of color) is nothing but a strong attempt to teach divisive ideology to these students and I and others would expect better of you than to try and teach a divisive ideology. This is pure Marxism and if you read what Karl Marx said about this you will find it to be so. Divide the people by color and you have destroyed their ability to come together as one nation.
Fifth: This teacher wants one to look at the word’s origins. Well let’s do that! Here it is: “The word “Squaw”, from Wikipedia (The morpheme squaw is found within longer words in several Eastern and Central Algonquian languages, primarily spoken in the northeastern United States and in eastern and central Canada. These languages only make up a small minority of the languages of North America, and squaw is not used among Native American, First Nations, Inuit, or Métis peoples. Even in Algonquian, the related morphemes used are not the English-language slur, but part of longer Algonquian words that contain more than one morpheme.”
Using the word “Squaw” is NOT a gateway to violence against Indigenous women. There is NO proof whatsoever that this is true as the word is rarely used in today’s vocabulary. After much research I can find NO proof whatsoever that this is true and have come to believe your “Teacher” or whoever wrote this letter fabricated that statement to take advantage of those that read the article but did not research this statement. Lies and fabrications have no place in any news article. For your teacher to allow his students to so state this is a HUGE disservice to the students he or she is teaching.
If your students seek to create a safer environment then they need to know what they are talking about and a lot more research and study needs to go into what they write. Any word can be derogatory to somebody but once again, what does the Democratic MAJORITY say about this. This MUST be taught to the students in your school.
To end this letter, I must strongly insist that any reference to AFAB be deleted from your school, that any use of BIPOC, which is a Critical Race Theory tool, be deleted from your school and I would STRONGLY request you teach Civics and Democracy in your School as your teacher does not seem to understand the concept. If they do not understand it, they cannot possibly teach it so this teacher needs to be replaced with someone that has a real understanding of our Republic and our Democratic processes.
We will be keeping an eye on your school from this point on and if you continue as you are you will be met with opposition and questions as to how you are running this Charter School. I would STRONGLY suggest that you make what I have said happen.
Michael Potts, Citizen at Large