1. What are your thoughts on reinstating student resource officers in our schools?
I believe that School Resource Officers are extremely important. SRO’s collaborate with administrators and faculty to ensure and enhance safety in the school, and are an excellent resource for students. Through their presence they promote trust between law enforcement and the community and many times are an informal counselor who our students can look to for advice, safety and support. SRO’s are imperative for safety in our schools. Often, the mere presence of an SRO will deter acts of violence in our schools and in the event violence does occur, having an on-site law enforcement officer who can help in any emergency right away can mean the difference between life or death. As a parent, this is extremely comforting to me.
I believe that we should have three SRO’s. One full time at the high school, one full time at the middle school and a third that would split his or her time at the elementary schools.
2. Share with us your thoughts on diversity, equity and inclusion in the schools. How are students impacted and what can be done to allow all students to learn and thrive in school?
It is of the utmost importance that all students are provided the same opportunities, care and support. Our educators must set aside personal biases and seek to understand students with different experiences. An excellent way for our teachers to promote equity and diversity is to first set the example themselves and to be explicit about the importance of respect for one another. Its important to facilitate a safe and inclusive space where students can share ideas, opinions and values without fear of judgment.
A space such as this could mean inviting parents or family members into the classroom as community experts to show students various representations of their culture and other cultures. By creating a space where we can understand each other, we naturally create a more inclusive environment.
3. How and to what extent should religious and political expression be allowed in schools?
Our students should be able to express themselves so long as it’s done in a respectful and well intended manner that does not cause distraction or conflict.
Our administration and faculty however should refrain from discussing religion or politics with students. Our educators should remain neutral on these topics as not doing so can often break trust in the student/teacher relationship and make the student(s) who do not agree extremely uncomfortable.
4. What changes, if any, would you make to the current curriculum and why?
This is a hot topic right now and for good reason.
I think Sherwood has done a great job at providing a range of curriculum options for our students, specifically in the arts CTE courses and electives. The course offerings are impressive, to put it simply.
It’s important however to ensure that certain lines are not crossed that may not align with a students family values. This applies to CRT and CSE. CRT is a politically driven ideology and that alone makes it reason enough to eliminate it entirely. Add to that, it pressures students to conform their opinions to those associated with their race and gender and to dismiss individual experiences that don’t match those assumptions. It does not promote equity and inclusion as it’s stated intention, but rather just the opposite.
CSE should also be eliminated entirely as it promotes disrespect for parent, religious and cultural values. CSE also promotes sexual counseling, information and services to minors without parental consent.