We had a lively forum yesterday. Here is a list of questions drafted by those present. You can read summaries of the candidates’ answers in both the Tribune and the Missourian. We have also sent this list to the candidates and will post any answers that we receive.
Why are you running (or rerunning) for the Board of Education?
What are you looking to accomplish in your position?
Do you see yourself as primarily representing the community or the system?
How do you view and value diversity in schools in relation to community?
Name three things you think our schools do well and one thing you hope to improve.
How are school officials dealing with bullying in schools?
How can you start conversations with children about bullying?
My child feels that students in class don’t like him because he’s different. What does the school do to recognize this exclusion?
What do you think about the decision to charge children with felonies for fighting at school?
How will the school board have a hand in this?
How will the district report data on bullying so that the public can monitor effects of the new law?
How does the school district manage construction costs?
How do you plan to continue to support small schools in the district?
Why don’t all schools offer after school activity buses? There are many after school activities offered but many parents aren’t able to pick up kids 4 – 4:30 pm due to work.
What is your position on vouchers and why?
What is the district doing and what more can the district do to help students become informed, engaged citizens?
You can join us March 16 at 6:15 for our annual parent friendly school board candidate forum. What makes our forum parent friendly? You get to ask your own questions, actually talk to the candidates, and both food and childcare are available. Can’t stay for the entire forum or need to arrive late? Not a problem! With our format it is easy to come and go. We understand the difficulties you have juggling your family schedule and will welcome you for the time you have to share. So please come! Forum will last approximately an hour. As last year, the forum will be held at United Community Builders, 617 North Providence. Our forum is co-sponsored with the CMSTA.
You can actually join us BEFORE the forum for a workshop on the new bullying law and related district policy. That begins at 5:30 pm. As a parent you need to know how the changes could affect your child, and what to do if your child is bullied or accused of bullying. You can find many good resources related to bullying here.
If you are a parent or other community member concerned about maintaining and strengthening our public school system so that ALL kids have a fair opportunity to succeed we welcome you to come meet us, share your concerns, and join in our work!
5:30 pm Workshop – What Parents Need To Know About Bullying
As you prepare your kids for school, be aware that what they may be watching on t.v. or on the internet about our national politics may not be teaching the lessons we would have them learn. Review this report from the Southern Policy Law Center about the “Trump effect” and what it means for bullying. Whatever your political leanings, talk to your kids about how to treat others and what to do when meeting a bully.
Bullying is and will remain a difficult topic to discuss, even among educators and scholars. I am introducing this topic as a way to acknowledge the viewpoints of bullying from the bully’s, victim’s, teacher’s, and parent’s perspective, hoping to help those persons affected by bullying.
The start of school for many children brings fear, worry, and feelings of extreme discomfort. Many kids have experienced physical abuse and verbal insults from the “mean” kids or bullies at school. Many parents worry about the students and wonder what they can do to help them endure or avoid another year of tears, confusion, abuse, and pain.
As someone who suffered from being bullied for many years, I would like to offer some advice for the victims of the abuse: I understand your feelings of self-loathing, confusion, pain, and humiliation. For a majority of my time at school, I was verbally abused which caused me to be constantly conflicted with my emotions. I had been raised to do good and to see good in others, but it proved extremely difficult to do so to the people who seemed to hate me. Over the years I learned that the bullies hated themselves. If you are a victim of abuse, it will benefit you tremendously to tell a trusted adult. If you are afraid to tell someone, still do so because it will enable you to heal and not have to carry the burden of thinking you are the only victim. Joining local support groups for victims of abuse will also enable you to overcome your fears and make your new school year a successful one!
Speaking up and speaking out against bullying will give you an advantage over the “mean” kids because unlike them, you are talking about your problems and working to solve them! Also, if possible, help your bully heal as well. Bullies are mean for a reason and if you work together to help them, you are one step closer to ending bullying for good! Be sure to check out www.pacerkidsagainstbullying.org/and end the abuse cycle. [ As well as http://dmh.mo.gov/docs/mentalillness/womenanger.pdf , a PDF discussing how women can deal with anger, and http://freespirit.com/, a website designed for helping kids and teens deal with anger!]
Several parents have contacted us with requests for information on how to deal with bullying. The week of October 4th through the 10th marks PACER’s Fourth Annual Bullying Prevention Week and you can sign up for their free webinar, scheduled for Tuesday September 28 from 1 to 2 Central, for a good overview of prevention resources. Your school can als contact them to become a partner in bullying prevention. You can take a look at their website to see a long list of partners and resources.