1. What are your thoughts on reinstating student resource officers in our schools?
There’s no need to “reinstate” an SRO program in Sherwood, it never went away. The officer staffing the program left, and it didn’t make sense to replace him without kids in the building. Now that kids are back, I’d expect the city to recruit the position right away. I have no interest in eliminating the SRO program at SHS.
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 broke my heart last June to hear students of color at Sherwood High School talk about how, in many ways, distance learning was better for them because they weren’t exposed to the casual, day-in and day-out racism they faced. One student shared this included his friends using the N-word around him. We have to do better. Meeting the needs of all of our kids has to include helping kids break down and push back on the racism they see and experience. It’s why being “anti-racist” is so important.
3. How and to what extent should religious and political expression be allowed in schools?
There’s an old joke that anyone who thinks there isn’t prayer in schools hasn’t been around at Finals. Kids have the right to pray, to practice their beliefs, and to express them. Those include a wide diversity of religions practised by our students and their families, and extends to no religion at all. What crosses the line are activities that create an atmosphere where the school itself is organizing religious activities. We can’t be in a position as a district of promoting a particular religion, or making kids feel excluded because their spiritual beliefs don’t conform to majority norms.
4. What changes, if any, would you make to the current curriculum and why?
The funny thing is, we’re changing the curriculum virtually every year. In an era where we’re moving away from reliance solely on printed text books, it becomes easier to adopt and adapt our curriculum to meet our kids needs, and to adopt practices that really work. As a result, I’m happy with the various curricula we’ve adopted since I’ve been on the board, but look forward to the continuous improvement process of constantly revisiting and revising it.