Letter to the editor: Elected board of education values inclusion | SummitDaily.com

Letter to the editor: Elected board of education values inclusion

Haley Jacks

I’ve wanted to be a teacher since I was 14 years old. I am lucky to work with people as wonderful as my administration and colleagues and a board that encourages us to be our best every day for every student — a board that looks at the entire child and more than statistics. Our students are inquisitive, unique, promising young people. Our newly elected board members see this and want to foster their growth into bright, driven, world-changing adults.

In a previous letter, there were claims that the 4 For The Kids candidates had never had negative interactions with teachers. However, my colleague was met with blatant disrespect after presenting concepts around identity. When she was kind and respectful in her response to concerns, the retaliation was, “your response is patronizing gibberish,” directly from the spouse of a candidate. This disrespect will not be tolerated.

This topic in particular is close to my heart. When I briefly got to address my membership in the LGBTQ+ community and its influence on who I am and my growth, I felt freedom and validation that I never got when I was young. This is a sentiment many of my students echo. The reason I became an educator was to show young people the value of self-worth and vulnerability. Every person deserves a place at the table.

When claims of inappropriateness in addressing this idea were made by people directly related to 4 For The Kids candidates, I felt silenced. Many of my students and I were forced back into the box that I had to fit into for too many years. If who we are makes you uncomfortable, that’s your problem. Diversity, inclusion and respect are virtues that our district values. Our elected board respects and trusts the integrity and professionalism of our district’s teachers in this pursuit.

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