Clayton Armstrong

Pocatello/Chubbuck SD25
Zone 2
Email Address:

Candidate Responses

What do you believe is the fundamental role of education?
The role of education is to provide the learners with the facts and historically correct information pertaining to each discipline. When provided with the proper facts the learners become aware of truth and are able to make their own decisions and choices without bias. Educators should not teach their own opinions and “popular trends” and try to influence learners beyond the true facts and information that is time tested. Education needs to get back to the basics in Science, English, History, Math, Geography, Art, Music, PE and other basic disciplines. I also believe that education should provide extracurricular opportunities and a positive social environment where learners feel safe, comfortable and can develop their talents beyond the classroom.
How would you promote rigorous academic instruction and excellence in your school district?
I think this question goes back to the first one in that the facts of the basic disciplines be followed. We need to get rid of “no child left behind” and stop “dumbing down” the curriculum to meet the needs of the lowest learner. I am not saying that the “slower” learners should not be helped…because they should. But one curriculum and a “pass everyone” idea need to be done away with. Students need to be taught there are consequences for their actions, both good and bad. The idea of “Common Core” practices also needs to be done away with and the time tested concepts of instruction, study, homework and class participation needs to come back into play. Students should NOT be given the entire grading period to complete assignments and turn in acceptable work.
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 first and foremost a “THEORY” as its name implies. It is neither factual or truth. CRT seeks to destroy history and rewrite it to delude the true facts that are out there. CRT teaches that because you are born a certain color you are predisposed to be a racist. This theory in and of itself is racists and is the cause of many of today’s problems with riots, violence and civil disobedience. CRT goes against true history and paints a false and blatant lie as to how the founding fathers divinely crafted the most powerful and successful constitution of any government ever.
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 (SEL) is simply CRT in an “egg” form. When the egg hatches it will be CRT. SEL is a way for the liberal left to insert their agenda at a young age and it is their way of “grooming” young learners for the CRT doctrine they will teach in later years. I would NOT encourage SEL in our district. While I do believe education needs to teach that slavery, prejudice behavior, bullying are unacceptable and that everyone should be shown kindness and tolerance, educations should NOT teach that because of your skin color, race or background you are a bad person. SEL seems to want to insert itself into the home and interfere with parental rights…this cannot be allowed. SEL is in our district and I have read through some of it. I am not sure of the model but I can see that it gives teachers too much leverage to insert their opinions and CRT ideas and this has to go.
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 am 100% against the Idaho State Board of Educations desire to adopt the anti-racist practices, implying that most all “white” people are racist and that for years our government and successful businesses and business people have risen to success by oppressing others of a different color. Staff and teachers should NOT be required to have such training. I simply believe that if we live by and teach the golden rule of “do unto others as you would have done unto you” then all biased and racist problems would go away. As a teacher and coach for 35 years I saw great success in all my students and athletes regardless of their color of skin or their background. All were given the same opportunities in my class and athletic field. Those who worked hard and gave their best effort succeeded and rose to new heights.
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?
No school district should be required to teach sex education courses. I believe that the science of the body should be taught and the basics of the reproductive system should be explained. But the “sex” part is not for schools to teach. While I do believe that there could be optional courses for students to learn about “sex education” this should be done with parental consent and complete disclosure of what the instruction is given. Some homes do NOT teach their children anything about “sex” and so I see the need for an optional class, but again, this needs to be done in a careful manor that is transparent to what is taught and also teaches that abstinence is the best method of birth control.
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?
Transgender students should NOT be allowed to use the same bathroom as biological males or females. There is and easy fix to this problem. The “boys” bathroom is for biological males; the “girls” bathroom is for biological girls. If you are a transgender or an “unsure” gender then there is an optional bathroom provided. This is not discriminating against a transgender or unsure gender…it is accommodating their needs.
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 schools. I believe this should be optional to both learners and staff. If you feel masks keep you safe then you should be allowed to wear them. But if you choose not to wear one then that is your right. I think that the added sanitation measures the schools are doing are a good thing, as well as the recirculating of fresh air. However, some ideas make no sense and do more harm than good…things like separating the desks, walking only one direction in a hallway at a time, having multiple lunch times so kids are separated etc. “Kids will be kids” and they will touch each other, talk, cough, walk and find away around any barrier. In fact, the more barriers that are put up the more they will find away around them.