SF School Board Votes To Keep Fiesta Court In The Classroom
The Santa Fe School Boards Monday night shot down a recommendation to pull Fiesta Court out of schools during class hours.
The 3-2 vote came after almost five hours of public comment from over 100 people, mostly in support of the Fiesta Court. Others from native tribes said the Fiesta Court is a painful reminder of colonialism against the Indian Nation.
The recommendation would have the visits take place after the instructional day concludes and during after school programming. It also envisioned more after school events featuring other cultures.
Instead, the current policy of having Fiesta Court visit fourth, seventh and ninth grade classrooms when students are learning New Mexico history will remain in place.
Students will still be allowed to opt out of the Fiesta Court if they wish to.
Several people spoke about the problem of the resolution coming only two weeks before Fiesta Court would take place.
Board President Sarah Boses, who along with Tiger Abeyeta and Carmen Gonzalez voted against the recommendation, agreed.
Boses says what was presented to the board is better as a start for discussions.
“I think we need to open that group up and see who else is interested in being involved,” she said. “We certainly have a promise to have student voices anytime we’re making decisions. Because this was done in a kind of a hurried way that we can do better on who we invite into that conversation to shape how we move forward with the Fiestas.”
The Fiesta Court reenacts Spanish governor Don Diego de Vargas’ 1692 reentry into Santa Fe after the Pueblo Revolt to reclaim the city from Native Americans.
Board Vice-President Sacha Anderson and Kate Nobel voted in favor of the recommendation saying it was a fair compromise and protected Native-American children who feel pained over the Fiesta.
All Board Members say they want to continue to work to ensure all Santa Fe cultures are represented in the schools.