Clay Christensen

Vallivue School District
Zone 1
Email Address:

Candidate Responses

What do you believe is the fundamental role of education?
The fundamental role of public education is to educate all students, regardless of race, color or socio-economic status in a way that affords every student the opportunity for higher education or gainful employment upon graduation.
How would you promote rigorous academic instruction and excellence in your school district?
To ensure excellence, it is vital to recruit and retain great teachers and give them the tools and training to become even better. School systems are the foundation of a healthy community and I will continue to build and improve Vallivue schools in a way that will make the community proud.
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?”
Critical Race Theory is the idea that society’s rules and laws are biased toward certain races. To teach that in schools would only divide students and families further, not bring them together. Teaching history to learn from past mistakes is appropriate. Teaching CRT to use as a reason why some races feel inferior will only cause further division. I will do everything in my power to ensure it is not taught within Vallivue School District.
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?
SEL involves looking at the social and emotional well being of all students. While I believe families should play the major role in this area, it is good for schools to look at the reasons why students may or may not be learning and what social or emotional roadblocks are in the way.
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?
I think it is important for staff to be informed and to understand. Any training about marginalized groups or social justice is a positive step in the right direction to further unite our community. I do not believe we should begin to change policies and laws to try and ‘make up’ for things that may have happened.
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?
Age appropriate awareness and education is good. For example, parents of High School or Middle School aged students should have the choice on whether their child participates in a health class or session on how their bodies are changing. To require it as comprehensive sex education is not appropriate and takes the rights of the parents away. I do not believe the small number of kids that need to hear about it at school outweighs the majority of kids who are getting it from their parents at a time and in a manner that is appropriate for them.
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?
I do not agree with this recommendation from the Idaho School Boards Association. I believe students should use the bathroom that is appropriate to their biological gender.
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?
I do not support mask mandates in school as a COVID-19 mitigation strategy. I believe parents have the right to choose whether their children should wear masks to school or not. I fully support the measures Vallivue School District is currently taking to monitor and mitigate the spread of COVID-19 and the efforts being taken to communicate that strategy to parents and staff.