Springfield, MO

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Letter to the Editor: Elect the experienced school board candidates on April 4

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Dear editor,

I received a mailer from a Springfield Public Schools Board candidate saying our schools should prioritize academic rigor over social and political agendas. I agree, which is why I’m asking Springfield Business Journal readers to join me in voting for Judy Brunner and Shurita Thomas-Tate on April 4 as they share this vision for our schools.

Across the country, school boards still trying to handle the effects of COVID lockdowns have instead been faced with an agenda of resentment, fear and exclusion brought by school board members with little previous experience or interest in education. This agenda is driven by think tanks and politicians using scare tactics to convince concerned parents that diversity training and education are the cause of our schools’ problems, even though inclusion and equity embody nothing more than the fundamentally American principles of fairness and decency.

The school board’s primary responsibility is to support students, teachers and staff, and maintain communication with all parents, not just the ones who share their culture-warrior talking points.

As a parent of a student in SPS, I believe that it’s unacceptable for parents with the most restrictive views to micromanage the curriculum or to dictate what students should be heard and what stories should be told.

This is the real “social and political agenda” intruding into our classrooms, and it is an assault on my parental rights as well as my rights as a taxpayer supporting public schools.

Therefore, it’s essential to elect experienced candidates like Brunner and Thomas-Tate on April 4 who have served SPS with expertise and dedication. We need to restore the school board’s focus on its core responsibilities, which are supporting students, teachers and staff, while ensuring that all voices are heard.

—Jonathan Newman, Springfield


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