School board spends over $500k earmarked for school improvements to remove mural of George Washington


SAN FRANCISCO, CA – In a time when dollars are tight for citizens and governments alike, the San Francisco Unified School District opted to use over $500,000 that was supposed to be used for facility improvements to remove a mural that some find offensive.

The mural that was offensive enough to people that it was necessary to spend that much money to remove it was that of our nation’s very first President, George Washington.

San Francisco Unified School District decided that $525,000 of taxpayer money that was supposed to be utilized to upgrade school facilities needed to be used to remove a mural of George Washington at Washington High School.

Why? Because they felt the mural of the nation’s first President of the United States was offensive to those of Native American descent as well as African Americans.

It’s a decision that others, like Rex Ridgeway, the Chairman of the Citizen’s Board Committee, are calling foul. Grossman told the San Francisco Chronicle:

“I want them to put the money back. They’ve been using this as a slush fund as far as I’m concerned.”

Along with Ridgeway, members of the Washington High School alumni association were so upset that the group filed a lawsuit against the school district. The lawsuit was eventually settled out of court for $345,000 with $180,000 paid to the group’s lawyers.

Despite settling the lawsuit out of court, Danielle Houck, a lawyer for the San Francisco Unified School District, said that they believe that the funds were legally used to remove the mural of George Washington.

Houck claimed that the money was earmarked to “allow for remediation of health and safety risks.” Houck said that the removal of the mural was necessary because:

“It [was] a part of a school building [which] caused psychological harm to students.”

Ridgeway’s fight with the school district does not seem to have as much to do with the mural itself as it does with the money that was used to remove it. Ridgeway said:

“I’m not saying I’m not for correcting wrongs; I’m a black man. But is it a proper use or improper use of bond funds for the construction rehabilitation of these school buildings? My position is no.”

This lawsuit is not the only issue the San Francisco Unified School District has had in the last few months as they recently held a recall election in February over what organizers termed as prioritizing “woke” policies over teaching the students.

The election saw three Democratic members of the school board removed from office as a result.

One of the members who was removed, former Board of Education President Gabriela Lopez, claimed that the recall election had more to do with white supremacists than it had to do with what the students were being taught in schools. She claimed:

“So if you fight for racial justice, this is the consequence. Don’t be mistaken, White supremacists are enjoying this. And the support the recall is aligned with this.”

Two educators in custody after accusations of stealing pandemic grants for personal use, getting drones and laptops

LAS VEGAS, NV – Two teachers and a principal of a Las Vegas school were arrested on allegations of stealing tax dollars to purchase items for themselves. Several other teachers were suspected of being in on the scheme.

According to CBS 8 News, at least four people have been arrested for theft of more than $150,000.

Here is what police are saying about the case, via the Las Vegas CBS affiliate.

“Multiple teachers at the charter school were involved in the conspiracy, according to Metro detectives. Teachers were able to obtain grants for school projects. Guidelines specified that one teacher could obtain one $954 grant for a classroom project, according to police.

However, detectives said they discovered that teachers used fake names to obtain multiple grants to buy themselves items like televisions, drones, video games, and more.”

Digging a little deeper into the details, it was determined that Welling approved the grant applications, even though she knew they were fraudulent.

Detectives discovered text messages between Andrea Fuentes-Soto and her husband.

She asked, “anything else we need the state to buy?”

His response?

“A new laptop lol.”


Police noted finding stolen items in both their classrooms as well as 27 items at the home of Andrea Fuentes-Soto. She was joined in jail by fellow teacher Christopher Olmstead and school principal, Victoria Welling. There is more than $4,000 in cash or merchandise that police have not been able to locate.

Teachers allegedly created fake names to apply for additional grant money. Those applications were controlled by Welling. Olmstead filed 21 applications with fake names, while Fuentes-Soto created 16.

The bond for all three was set at the same amount that investigators say they stole from the grant program, $154,000. Welling bonded out; the other two had not done so as of this writing.

In fact, the attorney for Olmstead, Charles Goodwin, argued before the judge that his client did not have the financial means to post the bond. Judge Suzan Baucum reminded Goodwin that Olmstead hired a high-powered law firm to defend him.

Attorneys for both the educators argued that neither had a criminal record and that they’d both been holding jobs and were tied to the community.

The judge denied all motions from the defense.

Welling is facing six charges, while the teachers each face four. All three were fired from their roles. They all face felony conspiracy and theft charges.

Meanwhile, as the investigation was still ongoing, Welling and Olmstead went and got new jobs.

Welling was hired by the Clark County School District to work at the Advanced Technlogies Academy. She passed a background check associated with the hire. But that check was done prior to her arrest and being charged.

She has since resigned from that position.

Olmstead, on the other hand, moved to South Carolina and got a position with the York School District.

He was waiting for his training and licensing to take place, as he was given a few months to obtain the proper credentialing required by the South Carolina Department of Education.

“Before learning of this situation, Mr. Olmstead’s employment for the next school year was pending receiving teaching certification from the SC Department of Education.  At this time, we have not received that certification.”

According to law enforcement, the investigation is ongoing and additional teachers and staff may be charged.


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