Carlsbad Schools Chief Cancels Forum on Immigration

Philip K. Ireland, North County Times (Escondido, Cal.), Aug. 5

CARLSBAD—Citing past violence and threats of violence surrounding the “hot button” issue of immigration, Carlsbad Unified School District Superintendent John Roach said Thursday that he has canceled a town hall meeting scheduled for next week on the Carlsbad High School campus.

Sponsored by Republican state Sen. Bill Morrow, Thursday’s meeting, titled “The Illegal Immigration Crisis,” was scheduled to include former San Diego mayor and radio talk-show host Roger Hedgecock as emcee, Colorado Congressmen Tom Tancredo, Minuteman Project founder James W. Gilchrist, attorney and author Madeleine Cosman, and former U.S. Attorney Pete Nunez.

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Roach cited a school board policy that allows the superintendent to deny use “if an event poses an unreasonable risk of damage to the facility, equipment, or furnishings, and that might jeopardize the security, health, and well-being of an audience or of the community.”

“Based on my understanding of the recent events in Garden Grove, Baldwin Park, and Campo, it is my belief that the event you had planned poses exactly such a risk,” Roach said Thursday, reading from the letter he had faxed to Morrow’s office.

“These events seem to have a tendency of gathering busloads of supporters and opposition who yell at each other and get violent. That’s not an appropriate use of the facility.”

On May 25 in Garden Grove, police arrested a motorist and at least seven other people after the motorist ran his car into a crowd of 300 demonstrators protesting a speech by Gilchrist, founder of the Minuteman Project. Three people were hurt in that incident. And in Baldwin Park on May 14, police in riot gear were called in to calm angry crowds during a demonstration over immigration-related monuments at the city’s Metrolink station.

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