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The Anaheim Union High School District, like school districts across the state, canceled in-class instruction this spring in order to protect students from the COVID-19 pandemic – shifting to distance learning for the remainder of the school year.

AUSHD students weren’t allowed to gather for traditional graduations ceremonies at the end of May, because it would violate COVID-19 social distancing protocols.

Yet, a few days later, AUHSD leaders and activist educators – and Councilman Jose F. Moreno – disregarded the social distancing rules that prevented graduations ceremonies and organized hundreds of high school students to protest the murder of George Floyd and police brutality (along with advocating some distinctly radical policies) on June 1 in La Palma Park.

The organizers included Anaheim High School teacher Lizzette Gracian, Trustee Al Jabbar, Dale Junior High School Assistant Principal Jose Lara and J. Paolo Magcalas, a Loara High School teacher and Anaheim Elementary School District trustee:

And gather the children did – with no regard for social distancing:

Is it six feet apart…or six inches apart?

Here are two mask-less organizers exhorting the crowd:

On social media, protest organizer Liz Gracian is militant about the necessity of pandemic rules about social distancing, wearing masks, sheltering at home, and closing down public areas and businesses. She calls reopening beaches “nonsense,” says “Fuck them!” to the OC Board of Supervisors for “sacrificing us” by endorsing safely re-opening businesses, and lashes out at people who support responsibly re-opening as “selfish assholes”:

Just a few days asking hundreds of students to come out of their homes and congregating them inches apart, Gracian posted this “Staying Homes – Saving Lives” as her Facebook profile:

Notwithstanding her strident virtue signaling, Gracian has carved out a pandemic dispensation when it comes to political protests that she supports:

Mask-less protest organizer and AUHSD teacher Liz Gracian exhorting the semi-masked and hemmed-in students.

Gracian isn’t alone in adhering to a double-standard.  Another protest organizer, Councilman Jose F. Moreno, has ridiculed those who favor responsibly lifting the lockdown in order to ease the massive economic damage to Americans, comparing to the fictional owners of Jurassic Park:

Earlier today, Moreno was urging Anaheim residents to get tested for COVID-19:


During tonight’s council item on the city’s COVID-19 response, maybe Councilman Moreno can make a special appeal to the parents of the hundreds of youth he assembled at La Palma Park to get their kids tested.

AUSHD Trustee Al Jabbar urged students to attend the rally, and celebrated as they jammed together:

Jabbar’s day job is deputy chief of staff to OC Supervisor Doug Chaffee. Maybe Jabbar’s politically convenient disregard for pandemic protocols helps explain the COVID befuddlement in that office.

Also on hand to watch his young charges violate social distancing rules was AUHSD Superintendent Mike Matsuda:

Sorry about cancelling your graduation ceremonies, kids…but if you want to swarm together for an anti-police protest and denounce America as racist, be my guest!

We’ll ask Matsuda why it is unsafe for several hundred students to gather together for a graduation ceremony, but it is safe for several hundred students to gather together to protest against the police. Not that Matsuda will provide anything other than “No comment.”

Here’s AESD Trustee and Loara H.S. teacher J. Paolo Magcalas shoulder-to-shoulder with students:

Perhaps Magcalas’ radical racial identity politics generate a force-field that wards off the COVID-19 virus.

Here’s AUSHD Trustee and Anaheim City Council candidate Annemarie Randle-Trejo belting out a tune to the tightly-packed crowd of students. Maybe she’s singing the virus away:

The protest organizers are, in fact, core members of Councilman Moreno’s AUHSD-based political operation. The ostensible reason they organized this protest was so the students wouldn’t go to the “Fuck The Police” protest taking place an hour later and a few blocks away.  Of course, the students had their own ideas and afterward marched directly over to join the “Fuck The Police” protest – as Moreno, Jabbar, Gracian and the other organizers no doubt figured they would.

Keep in mind this was in the first days of the George Floyd protest, when protest after protest degenerated into rioting and looting.  Two days prior, Santa Ana protesters looted a Smart N’ Final and other businesses. While Gracians, Moreno, Jabbar and Co. exhorted their packed crowd of students, downtown Anaheim merchants were boarding up their storefronts in case the worst happened.

Especially astonishing is the self-righteous hypocrisy of the La Palma Park protest organizers.  Shaming their fellow citizens who want to end the disastrous economic shutdown as selfish and oblivious to the health of others, and days later throwing social distancing out the window so they can exploit the political moment and organize several hundred potential volunteers for the November city council and school board elections.

In the eyes of the protest organizers, the COVID-19 pandemic is dangerous enough to warrant a massive disruption of students’ education and a painful economic lockdown – but it’s OK to concentrate hundreds of students shoulder to shoulder, and then send them off to join another, potentially  riotous, crowd of protesters.