Parents Respond with ‘Celebrate America’ Rally;  Wednesday, January 19, 12:30 PM

[BRENTWOOD, CALIFORNIA]  January 12, 2022  –  Pioneer Elementary School principal, Casey McClure , invited Krystyna Rakow, then-president of the Pioneer Parents Club, into his office last September 27 to share a concern for… her t-shirt. 

       Rakow often wears a ‘Support Our Heroes’ Thin Blue Line shirt, in honor of her father, a retired police officer.  Principal McClure explained the offensive nature of her Heroes tee and shared additional concerns for the ‘politically charged’ image on another shirt she wears, (an image also displayed on her vehicle), the American flag, both of which he feels should be removed from schools. [*transcribed recording attached]

      After sharing his image-based concerns with Rakow, Principal McClure texted the new Parent Club board to take action, writing: “I need for her to resign totally and completely…” [McClure also accidentally sent this to Rakow]. McClure called Rakow in at least five times in the weeks to follow (all-recorded), pressuring the active parent to step down. [EXCERPTS ATTACHED]

     In response to Rakow’s forced resignation, Pioneer Parents are now planning a ‘Celebrate America’ rally at the school, Wednesday, January 19 @ 12:30 PM

     Attached below, are some eyebrow-raising excerpts from that first recorded exchange; offering possible insight into the tone public education now takes and promotes with regard to the American flag, police officers, and role of the parent:


MCCLURE:       “We’re getting a lot of feedback on the shirts [you wear] and the flag on the truck. People are either concerned or super-pissed. They say ‘What’s next ? If there’s flags or politically charged statements like these allowed on shirts in the school, what’s to stop other political statements, such as rainbow flags or BLM?”

“My concern is there is a growing sentiment. I need to tell you it’s happening. The PTA bylaws say there needs to be a separation of political views. I’m most concerned is how it is all being interpreted and how it is affecting the Parents Club. For me, my perfect world… there is a complete and total separation from the two [separating the school from support of police officers and/or American flag].”

RAKOW:           “At what point does it stop? My dad is retired police officer, so is my ‘Support Our Local Heroes’ shirt political? I’m an ex-military wife, so is the American flag political now, too? I don’t wear liberal, republican or Trump shirts. I’m very conscientious about not wearing something that might be offensive to others.”

MCCLURE:       “I’m trying not to be a censor,” McClure stated, yet a short while later he sent the text (See attachment A)  to the Parents Club board, writing “she should be forced to resign,” [he also inadvertently sent the text to her, apologizing later “Oops! That wasn’t for you.”]

RAKOW:           “I’ve had so many parents that have come to me and say THANK YOU, particularly those who can’t be on campus [and volunteer at the level I do], that are grateful for my help here and that I can be a voice for them. We should be PROUD that we are Americans and grateful for what we have… This isn’t the America it was on September 12, 2011.”

MCCLURE:       “The [Parents Club] board should present an atmosphere that is welcoming and inviting to everyone. It would be better if we presented ourselves as completely neutral [to police officers and the American flag].”

RAKOW:           “I’m HERE. I show up. I saw thirty-seven classes running the book fair this week, as a volunteer, but [you’re saying] I can’t be here unless I keep my head down and don’t speak? I’m on the board because I want to make a difference.”

MCCLURE:       “I am fearful that the political discourse is going to present a problem for Pioneer and the Parents Club, from an optics perspective. If I’m going to allow for you to have that voice, then other parents don’t want any part of it and wont volunteer.”

RAKOW:           “That’s sad, because this is everything I try to teach my girls; ‘You stand up for your views and your opinions, because how will you make a difference in the world if you don’t?’

*We received these notes and recordings from a third-party source. Rakow confirmed their authenticity.

AMANDA DOVE  (925) 408-8332