What do you believe is the fundamental role of education?
It is the role of the public school system to provide a thorough classical academic education through teaching objective fact. Public schools should offer programs that focus on the basics of math, reading, writing, history, financial literacy, and an appreciation for the arts. Ultimately it is the role of the schools working together with the parents to send well adjusted students capable of turning challenges into triumphs into the world. It should be a priority to strengthen relationships between parent's and the board of trustees to ensure we are all working towards a common goal.
How would you promote rigorous academic instruction and excellence in your school district?
My first priority would be a thorough review of curriculum by the board of trustees, teachers, and parents. Then removing anything that should be the responsibility of parents and the church to teach. We need to get back to focusing on classical academics and objective fact, which has been overshadowed by Social Emotional Learning. While it is important to support our children's emotional health at school and home, it is not the role of the school to carve out portions of the day, or weave this teaching throughout every fiber of our children's day to address. These things need to be dealt with as needed on an individual basis, so as a whole we are focusing on academics not feelings. By working with parents and educators to implement curriculum that gets back to the fundamentals of education, we will be able to put the focus back on academic instruction and excellence
How do you define Critical Race Theory? When implemented in school policies and curriculum, do you think Critical Race Theory differs from simply “teaching history?”
Born from the framework of Marxism. It is a radical race based ideology that says all minorities are oppressed and all others are their oppressors. It teaches to see people by their race, rather than by the content of their character. Noting concepts like white privilege, institutional, structural, systemic racism, and an idea that America is inherently racist. I believe the implementation of CRT in policy and curriculum undermines the teaching of true history. While parts of history may be gruesome and difficult, we are to teach and learn from it as to not repeat the mistakes that have been made before us. We learn and grow from the teaching of historical facts. There are many lessons to be learned from history, but the teaching of CRT leads to a regressive thought process that undermines those lessons.
How do you define Social Emotional Learning (SEL)? Would you encourage the implementation of any SEL model in your school district? If so, which model and why?
Social Emotional Learning is social engineering, the trojan horse for CRT (CRT in practice, not by name). While in theory it sounds great for our schools to teach our children to regulate emotions and be self aware, SEL goes beyond that, and is weaved into every aspect of your childs learning experience. When the focus of this teaching is social change, this is a red flag that the intent is teaching our children to be social justice warriors and change agents. Core features of Transformative SEL, which is taught in district 271, include "Academic content that integrates issues of race, class, and culture." And "Enhancing and forgrounding social and emotional competencies needed for civic engagement and social change, such as reflecting on personal and social identities, examining prejudices and biases, interrogating social norms, disrupting and resisting inequities, and co-constructing equitable and just solutions." Social Emotional Learning as it is said to be implemented in our schools by administration and boards, to teach self regulation and awareness, should be kept to individual circumstances, in an organic fashion. Otherwise the teachings of morals, values, and virtues, as well as self regulation and awareness should be the purview of families and churches.
How would you respond to the Idaho State Board and Department of Education’s recent dissemination of resources such as the SEL Roadmap for Reopening Schools, which argues that schools should adopt anti-racist practices, focus on social justice, and conduct staff-wide implicit bias trainings? Should teachers be required to attend these kinds of trainings?
Considering the fact that SEL, anti-racism, social justice, and implicit bias trainings are all related to CRT, I would vehemently oppose such resources. Teachers should not be required to attend any training that is related to CRT or teaches them to implement the practice, or praxis of CRT.
Should your school district be required to teach a sex education curriculum? If so, should this curriculum include instruction on sexual orientation and gender identity? Should parents and guardians be required to provide consent before their children participate in any sex education curriculum?
It is important for our children to understand basic biology and how their bodies work. Having parents opt IN rather than opt out, sex education should be offered to children in an age appropriate fashion. Schools should not be adding to the growing trend of gender confusion and dysphoria by instructing children in the area of sexual orientation or gender identity. Sex education in schools should be taught from a scientific and biological standpoint, with focus on safety, reproductive health, and sexually transmitted diseases.
How should school districts respond to the Idaho School Boards Association’s recommendation that transgender students be allowed to use the bathroom of the gender with which they identify?
This idea should be strongly opposed. As stated above, schools should not be adding to the growing trend of gender confusion and dysphoria. Nor should they be compromising the safety and privacy of others to accommodate for a small population. Bathroom accessibility should be based on a person's physical genitalia, not identification.
Do you support mask mandates in schools as a COVID-19 mitigation strategy? Do you support implementation of any other policies or practices designed to mitigate the effects of COVID-19?
There are no comprehensive scientific studies available showing that masking has benefits that outweigh the negative effects of long term mask wearing. Therefore I could not in good conscience vote in favor of any mandates regarding masks or vaccines. I believe in medical freedom and the right for each family and individual to make their own decisions based upon what is best practice for themselves. I support the implementation of other mitigation strategies such as promoting good hygiene like hand washing, as well as cleaning practices that minimize contact exposure from surfaces, sufficient ventilation for indoor spaces, encouraging healthy eating and exercise habits, and keeping sick children and teachers home while they are ill. Other district's close to ours have been successful at preventing outbreaks using the above mitigation strategies.