Elaine King

Sugar-Salem School District
Zone 4
Email Address:

Candidate Responses

What do you believe is the fundamental role of education?
The fundamental role of education is to help students reach their full potential by helping them develop needed skills to contribute to society and seek life-long learning.
How would you promote rigorous academic instruction and excellence in your school district?
I would encourage rigorous academic instruction and excellence by promoting a solid, balanced curriculum that reflects values of the community and by measuring success with reliable assessments. When assessments show a need for improvement, I would encourage a review of the curriculum and whether there is a need for specific teacher training.
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 (CRT), which started as a movement to examine how the law affects race, has morphed into notions by some people that the American flag is a symbol of hatred and bigotry, and that white people are oppressors. This movement prompts the teaching of slavery and other discrimination with so much emphasis that positive American history is excluded. CRT should not be part of K-12 instruction.
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?
A tenet of CRT, SEL teaches students to show empathy for those of different cultures in the classroom. Although this may sound appropriate, it creates division where there wasn’t division and thus should be omitted from K-12 education. Everyone should be given equal opportunity to succeed. The only SEL lesson that should be taught in the classroom is to treat others the way you would like to be treated.
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?
The Idaho State Board and Department of Education’s dissemination of resources such as the SEL Roadmap for Reopening Schools is unwise, since it furthers CRT. K-12 should focus on teaching English, math and science, not social ideology. Teachers and administrators should not be required to attend bias and other social-justice training, and education officials should not institute such training in the first place. State legislators should direct the Idaho State Board of Education to remove such requirements for teacher accreditation and professional development.
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?
Sex education taught outside biology or physiology classes should require an OPT IN form signed by the parent before a child is allowed to participate. Sexual orientation and gender identity should not be taught in public schools, and school board members should set policy regulating these matters.
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?
School districts are not required to belong to the Idaho School Board Association. If the association recommends such things as children choosing their own gender identity and then using the bathroom that aligns with that gender they identify with, the school district should opt out of the School Board Association.
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 “mandates” of masks, vaccines, or mandates of any other policies or practices designed to mitigate the effects of COVID-19 in our district.