I am the President of the Milpitas Teachers Association, and I represent the teachers at Milpitas Unified School District. On March 3rd, a very important election will take place and we need our community informed. This election will decide who will be elected to the Milpitas Unified School District Board of Education. The Milpitas Teachers Association and the district’s support personnel have long advocated for the success of all of our students in our community, and we continue to be extremely proud of the education our community helps us provide to everyone. Each and every day we strive for improving the quality of education for all students.
In my years of service as a teacher and as President of the Milpitas Teachers Association, it is impossible to recall an election that compares to this upcoming March 3rd School Board election. Putting aside the fact the election was an unnecessary waste of funds and resources, this election cycle has been tainted by School Board Candidate Ling Kong and her supporters. It is an election that has been filled with harassment, intimidation and mistruths. As the President of the Milpitas Teachers Association, I and my members will stand up against this behavior.
Our association has seen and been involved in many elections. We all have. We get bothered when candidates mislead, exaggerate and lie. We tolerate it and sometimes feel like it’s the norm when really it shouldn’t be. I know many of us ignored and let slide some of the mistruths and lies coming from Ling Kong and her supporters. When Ling Kong said she generated $1 million for the district, we knew she didn’t, but many of us just rolled our eyes and chalked it up to political lies to get votes. When social media posts were made by Ling’s supporters making it appear that her campaign was supported by Mayor Tran when the Mayor is endorsing her opponent, very few of us called her out. But we should have stopped this behavior early.
The lies and mistruths from that campaign have escalated into harassment and intimidation. Our district is dealing with numerous Public Records Requests from Ling’s supporters and it is costing the school district thousands in attorneys’ fees and staff time. Ling has also been contacting teachers directly on school district email to get their support, which is a violation of ed code, as well as campaign rules. While she denies that she got access to private information of employees erroneously released by the district’s law firm, she somehow acquired the personal cell phone numbers of district employees and has been texting them as well.
Ling Kong’s attempt to learn which candidate district employees are supporting is particularly disturbing and inappropriate. As teachers, we have a right to support the candidate we believe will best serve the parents and students of Milpitas Unified School District, and that is not Ling Kong. Candidates don’t have the right to make attempts to find out which teachers are not supporting them in efforts to either intimidate our teachers or even to get back at those teachers later.
I am writing this Letter to the Editor to not just inform our community but to ask for your help also. This behavior needs to stop and candidates need to learn that intimidation and harassment will not win elections. Please join us and Say No to Ling Kong.
President, Milpitas Teachers Association