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I am committed to promoting transparency from the PHM district to parents and other tax-paying members of the community. An example is the Indiana Open Meetings complaint that I filed resulted in the Public Access Counselor advising PHM their Superintendent Advisory Council (SAC) meetings were being illegally conducted due to lack of transparency.
I will act with integrity and will expect others to do the same. The Golden Rule is a great way to describe this.
Hard work is necessary to get good results and especially to maintain a good environment. A house without maintenance will quickly go to disrepair. It is the same with public schools. An elected school board member’s greatest responsibility is to understand and represent the voting community.
I would have voted to have masks and other precautions to be optional and readily available. It is my belief that each family had the information available to make the best decisions for their individual situation.
I believe SEL was changed to an opt-in format for the current school year and I support that. Each school year there are some students who can benefit from SEL lessons while many others may not. Traditionally good behavior has been modeled by parents and other mentors (grandparents, teachers, coaches, etc) rather than relying on formal instruction. In addition people have different views on how to approach the subject matter covered in these lessons.
Some parents have expressed concern related to instances where a few educators mixed personal views into the SEL lessons. This can easily create misunderstanding and tension with students and parents. Teachers are the classroom authority and must be mindful to avoid misuse of this where misbehavior is not at issue. An opt-in format along with the pre-publishing of the lessons allows for parents and teachers to work together to create a consistent learning environment between home and school.
Parents are the ultimate authority when it comes to children. Their involvement in their children’s education has numerous benefits including ensuring consistent expectations between home and school. Parental involvement should be encouraged and doing so benefits everyone.
For more detail, check out my blog post here: Teachers and Parents (andyforphm.com)
Adults are educated and should be debating political issues in the community. Children are not yet mature nor educated. In the classroom children need to focus on their education which includes math, science, reading and history. No one should distract children from this critical need. The taxpaying community expects nothing less!
Discipline issues are a barometer of the overall health of a school. Maintaining good discipline is hard and easily lost. Kids by nature tend to shun work in favor of play. Having clear expectations, opportunity for reward and effective punishment are essential to raising healthy, well-behaved children.
Where this gets challenging is that different families and different teachers have a variety of views on discipline. Just as parents can expect to be involved in their children’s education, parents should be involved in their children’s discipline and receptive to teacher concerns.
Students with chronic behavior issues are nothing new. I believe getting an education is a right that all Indiana students can expect but attendance at a preferred school is not. Before then there are a number of tried & true options to engage behavior issues early and bring about positive change.
Support Teachers in Providing EXCELLENT Education (andyforphm.com)
I spoke recently with a PHM homeowner who asked my thoughts on book banning. We discussed this for a while and quickly focused on whether books in schools should be age appropriate literature and if they have good literary content.
Unlike public libraries which serve all ages, public schools serve only kids and should have no need for adult-only content.
A common measure of adult content is maturity rating for movies and games. A PG or PG-13 movie has subtle nudity, violence or foul language. An R-rated movie has graphic & repetitive nudity, violence and foul language. Unrated or X-rated movies of course are just smut of sex and/or violence.
I get the impression past debates on book banning involved classics of literature that might be rated PG-13 or less. Some simply had a controversial theme. Yet recently many parents at PHM school board meetings have read passages from books in our schools containing explicit descriptions of sexual activity. Having a rating system available for school libraries and literature classes allows parents to have easy oversight on the content presented to their children. School safety should cover safety of hearts and minds as well as physical safety.
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