Similar to national trends, WCPSS is experiencing staffing shortages that are impacting classrooms at all grade levels and across school careers: teachers, bus drivers, substitutes, cafeteria workers, and mental health professionals. Working to solve this crisis must be a priority for school board members if we are to serve our students’ academic needs, as we are required to do. While there are no easy solutions to this crisis, as your school board representative, I will:
I support the teaching of facts and truth. I trust the professionalism of our teachers to teach hard subjects and topics and trust them to guide students through discussion and debate on challenging subject matter. WCPSS, like all NC school districts, must follow the NC Standard Course of Study. Curriculum decisions are largely the responsibility of the NC State Board of Education.
WCPSS school librarians are professionals who are trained to select age-appropriate books for our school libraries. I trust their ability to guide students in their selections of reading material. As an at-large member of the Wake County Library Commission, I support the Freedom to Read as outlined by the American Library Association. I trust the WCPSS review process when books are challenged and generally do not support banning books.
I support the WCPSS Core Belief that every student is expected to learn, grow, and succeed, and the district’s commitment to eliminate the predictability of achievement based on socio-economic status, race, or ethnicity. The WCPSS Office of Equity Affairs needs to provide critical leadership to the district, so that all children feel included in their school communities. I will look to that department to guide our board in best practices regarding equity and inclusion, and do all I can to ensure they have the necessary resources to be effective.
Through its updated Strategic Plan, the WCPSS School Board is recommitting to equity-focused practices that will improve learning and well-being for all students. I will support that work.
Students, teachers and staff deserve safe learning environments. School safety must be comprehensive and not only include protections from intruders and gun violence but also supports for student and staff well being. WCPSS has strong security measures already in place, including locked exterior doors, security cameras, protocols for school lock downs, protocols for responding to weapons on campus, etc. WCPSS leaders are constantly reevaluating safety protocols and making improvements where necessary. WCPSS participates in a statewide alert system for students to report concerns anonymously.
As your school board member, I will work to strengthen and expand restorative justice practices, equity training, and bullying prevention. I do not and will not support the arming of teachers with guns ( I have the “Gun Sense” candidate distinction from Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America). I will advocate for more helping professionals in our schools: nurses, counselors, school psychologists and social workers. Research shows mental health professionals can help struggling students and make schools safer by preventing violence and disruptions to learning.