HEALTH AND SAFETY

Students in this newest generation face more obstacles and risks than in years past. The school board is responsible for considering the safety and welfare of its student body in a number of ways, both physiologically and psychologically. With the ease of social media access, a pandemic, and increasing gun violence, the school board has a heavy responsibility.

Social media access, though helpful at times, also increases the vulnerability of students to the effects of bullying and harassment. When parents themselves emulate bullying behavior, it is no surprise that children follow this example. School board members must be responsible for their public image and refrain from harmful rhetoric steeped in racism, homophobia, or any other portrayal of hate. Policies must protect the most marginalized, and efforts made by administrators designed to encourage students to develop the emotional tools to become healthy adults should not be turned into yet another political battlefield.

Social media access, though helpful at times, also increases the vulnerability of students to the effects of bullying and harassment. When parents themselves emulate bullying behavior, it is no surprise that children follow this example. School board members must be responsible for their public image and refrain from harmful rhetoric steeped in racism, homophobia, or any other portrayal of hate. Policies must protect the most marginalized, and efforts made by administrators designed to encourage students to develop the emotional tools to become healthy adults should not be turned into yet another political battlefield.

Likewise, students are protected by the use of routine measures, such as fire drills, in the case of emergencies. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the school board had the power to enforce safety guidelines in order to mitigate the harmful impacts of a highly contagious virus. Once again the political divide hampered student access to basic safety measures. The board of trustees should be composed of individuals that keep physical and emotional health as priorities, and trust experts to provide guidance based on hard data and scientific consensus.

Even today, school nurses are allowed to opt out of offering testing services or basic healthcare in relation to COVID-19. Reporting has been minimized by not including at-home positive tests, despite the abundance of data showing that false positives are extraordinarily rare. Vaccine clinics have ceased, though many of the students are now eligible for boosters. By distancing the district from COVID-19 safety protocols, students are missing more class time, and seeing their education suffer.

The board oversees the direction of the district. If the board avoids politically contentious issues, they are capitulating to the bullies interested only in creating a climate where every child is ignored in favor of the entitled family.

Even today, school nurses are allowed to opt out of offering testing services or basic healthcare in relation to COVID-19. Reporting has been minimized by not including at-home positive tests, despite the abundance of data showing that false positives are extraordinarily rare. Vaccine clinics have ceased, though many of the students are now eligible for boosters. By distancing the district from COVID-19 safety protocols, students are missing more class time, and seeing their education suffer.

The board oversees the direction of the district. If the board avoids politically contentious issues, they are capitulating to the bullies interested only in creating a climate where every child is ignored in favor of the entitled family.