Keep national politics out of a school board race? It can't be done

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The City of Dover School Board election is currently a hot topic. How do you choose the best candidate? A member of a Dover Facebook group replied to a comment stating, "please keep your personal opinions about National politics out of Dover' has no place." By my way of thinking that statement is tribal and unthoughtful. Dover does not exist in a vacuum. Nor do our teachers.

Several School Board Candidates announced candidacy, stated their backgrounds and experiential leanings in a local newspaper. One word which appeared frequently in those newspaper columns is "equity" absent any specific statement of position on specific school-related issues.

The term "equity" became a political hot button during the 2020 national election as a stated pillar of the National Democratic Party Platform. Since Joe Biden took office, there has been particular focus on "equity" as a missing yet-needed condition in American society. Has one single candidate stated what that missing yet-needed condition is in the City of Dover? "Equity" is a term not borne of at the local level. Yet, it has infiltrated every level of politics, American life, and our institutions.

Teachers are supported and prejudiced by the National Education Association, the nation's largest professional employee organization. That teacher union is a major donor to the Democratic Party and has fought hard and long against school openings, impacted masking of children and supports CRT.

Clearly educational policies affecting our children are initiated at the national level. Attitudes at the national level flow down to the local levels of government. Those "national issues" could serve us well if utilized as a tool in evaluating candidates for our local school board. We must demand candidates answer the hard questions surrounding their view(s) of "equity", positions advocated by the national teacher unions, and the subject matter content taught in our schools.

Cheryl Russell is a former high school teacher and 30-year employee with the U.S. Department of the Treasury. She lives in Dover.

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