I am against any notion of Critical Race Theory or its umbrella terms like equity, inclusion, diversity when it plays itself out to divide people. Children mimic what they see, and when adults are involved in things that divide, they tend to ride that wave. I am all for inclusion and diversity. We have that now. When the activist movement tends to disrupt critical thinking and independent thinking, we need to pause and take heed of their purpose. I am 51 and was raised by one conservative dad and one liberal mom, although she changed later. I was taught in school about MLK Jr. and Frederick Douglas and countless others about equality. Equality and equity are different. Equity is a non-sacrificial handout without growth. Equality is something we all earn and work towards. My wife and I have raised four children and taught them that all people are created equal in the sight of a creator. That we are, as MLK Jr. said, "to not judge based on the color of one's skin but by the content of their character." I have seen with my own eyes and heard how teachers have gone off subject to interject their ideologies and ideas with my own eyes. We need to ensure our teachers are helping our students to learn how to read, do the math and become independent thinkers. A good teacher does just that. Teaches without bias the subject at hand and keeps the subject in focus. One of my children was told in a history class that in college, they teach that our country was born out of racism. Not only that, but the teacher went on to say that she hoped one day that kids would get free college. My son replied that it sounded like she was imposing Maoism thinking. He was sent to the office for objecting. That was not good for her to do. Children need education to mature. They do not need to worry about pronouns and terms or ways to speak in an indoctrinated manner.
I am a union Pipefitter. All unions are not the same. My wife has been on the para negotiations team since 2019 and was the secretary until recently, when she resigned and left the union. Each team in negotiations is only as strong as their leadership. Both sides need to establish mutual trust and respect rather than an "in it to win it" mentality. The district needs to get better at discussing rather than saying no to everything and ordering the unions to come up with language for new items. Some education union members do not like me because I am not an activist and will not submit to forced coercion. However, I know many educators in the district who see things as I do and others do not. For once, we need to come together for the kids and not political influence.
I would also point out that I take what I was taught growing up on with parents who disagree with me. I am quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to become angry. A gentle word turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up trouble.
One of my main goals is to introduce more trades related programs to high schools. I have heard from several people that this would be welcomed. I have lofty goals of using the Civic Plaza for showcasing events on Saturdays throughout the year, where we would have various trades come in and set up booths to show off what futures there are in these fields. Plumbing, Pipefitting, Electrical, Carpentry, Computer, and the likes. This would bring kids and their parents together to look at various trades and meet and talk with people in these industries. This would also bring Kennedy and Jefferson students together in a small way showing that no matter what side of Bloomington we are on, we are more similar than different. I also believe that Civic Plaza could be used further by hosting events between the two high schools and even the other schools, such as cooking events. Band events. And I am talking about kids who play in garage bands competing with one another being judged by their peers—getting kids involved in these events by doing the events, hosting the events, judging the events. The goal is to bring the community together.