Letters to the Editor: May 6, 2021
Beaverton schools need pro-abstinence voices on board
My distrust of Beaverton School District (BSD) began when a friend reported that starting in the fall of 2020, BSD would start teaching kindergartners that there are three genders. [Ed.: The Beaverton School District's adopted standards do not identify "three genders" but state "that there are many ways to express gender and that all people deserve respect regardless of gender expression." Kindergartners are taught to respect others regardless of how they look, dress or express themselves.] Teaching abstract concepts to concrete learners is not age-appropriate. More importantly, the understanding of gender identity is still evolving.
My distrust deepened when the Westview High School principal would not allow me to attend a Planned Parenthood presentation in my 10th-grade son's health class in 2019. As reported by another student who attended the presentation, the youth advocate group labeled abortion as a type of birth control. This view opposes my beliefs and is a conflict of interest — Planned Parenthood profits from abortions.
I started gathering with like-minded parents. As a group, we organized opposition to Comprehensive Sexuality Education (CSE) during the school year 2019-2020. We researched the origins of CSE and its ties to Planned Parenthood. We spent hundreds of hours researching, sharing what we learned with other parents, and meeting with BSD administrators and school board members. Despite the evidence we presented of the damage caused by teaching consent to sex starting in sixth grade instead of focusing on abstinence, BSD chose to retain CSE curriculum. Tragically, parents' rights are evaporating in public schools.
I have witnessed firsthand that no current BSD school board member is willing to advocate for families who oppose CSE.
BSD claims to value and champion balance. There is no balance in BSD. That is why balance needs to be restored to the BSD School Board members. For this reason, I am advocating for Jeanette Schade (Zone 1), Fuhua Xu (Zone 2), and Saralyn Dougall (Zone 4).
Krysten Jolie, Bethany
Looking back by looking forward
The first time I ran for Beaverton City Council, I recalled that the purpose of government, any government, is to serve the people — all of them. Elected officials represent the interests of the people first, elevating the common good and individual rights far above self-interest and political opportunism.
Serving on the council, I learned the art of compromise as well as the necessity to 'stand your ground' for those principles, values, and beliefs we all hold in common: honor, integrity, and respect.
As Beaverton's mayor, I learned that local politics is akin to sausage-making — rarely pretty, but when everything comes out right, government can promote our common interests and move us forward to the kind of community and society we all want: prosperous, equitable, and sustainable.
The citizens and businesses in Beaverton are facing great challenges. Jerome Sibayan is a well-qualified candidate for CIty Council. He is going to donate his entire salary to nonprofits. He is not thinking of a political career, but simply, how can he serve all of us.
Denny Doyle, Beaverton
Brown's cushy appointments for senators
Your April 19 article on Gov. Kate Brown's appointment of state Sen. Ginny Burdick (D-Portland) to the Pacific Northwest Electric Power and Conservation Planning Council left out a key point.
If Burdick is approved for a three-year term on the Council, beginning Nov. 1, 2021, not only will she make $120,000 a year, but she'll likely end up with a much fatter PERS pension payout than her 25 years of legislative service alone would have provided.
That's because lifetime retirement benefits under PERS are designed to provide approximately 45% of a state employee's final average salary at retirement. Final average salary is generally the average of the highest three consecutive years or one-third of total salary in the last 36 months of employment.
As a legislator, Burdick has an annual salary of just $31,200 plus $149 each day of the legislative session to pay for meals and lodging. After three years on the Council, Burdick's pension will be calculated using her new substantially higher salary, potentially rewarding her with hundreds of thousands of extra dollars over here lifetime. This when PERS is already overwhelmed with billions in unfunded liabilities.
Brown played the same game in 2017 when she put then-Sen. Richard Devlin (D-Tualatin) and Sen. Ted Ferrioli (R-John Day) on the Council.
This is all true grift at taxpayer expense.
Bill MacKenzie, Lake Oswego
TTSD candidates stand out for representation, equity
"It's often a misconception that antiracist work is tearing our community apart, when actually, racism is what is tearing our community apart. We're not trying to alienate anybody. What we're actually trying to do is equity work, which means not giving everyone the same, but giving everybody what they need in order to succeed. And our mission at Tigard-Tualatin is to educate every child." — David Jaimes
Some say that focusing on underserved students results in neglecting majority students' needs. As a white, straight, cisgender, non-disabled parent of two Tigard-Tualatin School District students, I want to see not only my children, but our district's most vulnerable children receive the education they deserve.
David Jaimes, Tristan Irvin and Marvin Lynn are running for TTSD School Board. They are parents of children in TTSD, and educators. They aim to educate every student by meeting each student's individual needs. The district already has an equity plan. These three candidates aspire to turn this plan into reality by offering representation on the board, tying the plan to specific and measurable goals and amplifying student voices.
Do your research on all the candidates. Then join me in voting for David, Tristan and Marvin for TTSD School Board.
Holly Campbell-Polivka, Tigard
Sherwood needs leaders who will say 'no' to state
Sherwood School District has three positions. One of these is Patrick Allen. [Ed.: There are three Sherwood School Board seats up for election this month, out of a total of five.] In his day job as head of the Oregon Health Authority, he is telling people to mask up, close everything and stay home. On his night job as director of the Sherwood School Board, he is declaring that he wants the schools open and kids back in school.
Patrick has made many mistakes on the handling of the state's response to COVID, closing parks around the states in 2020 when CDC had said there is not a significant risk. Yet the parks closed. Our kids were essentially locked in their homes all summer long.
As a school board member, I expect the people to be forthright and honest with the parents and students of the school district you help manage. I have met Duncan Nyong'oro and I found him to be the type of person that I want to represent the interest of myself and my children on the Sherwood School District.
I see Duncan and Krista Thorne as people who will push back against the Oregon Department of Education and requirements that Pat Allen as the head of OHA has onerously placed on the school districts around the State of Oregon.
Join me in finding a new voice for Sherwood schools by supporting Duncan and Thorne.
Michael Jones, Sherwood
Vote yes for Octavio Gonzalez
A local school board should reflect the students it serves and lead the community from a strength of diverse perspectives and professional skills.
Octavio Gonzalez will bring his passion for community and his business acumen to the critical work of the school board.
Octavio leverages his lived experiences to connect with students, staff, and families. As a school leader at Bridgeport Elementary School, he champions providing a safe and welcoming place for all students. As a district budget committee member, he thinks deeply about the district's spending and serves as a strong fiscal steward; he does not shy away from asking difficult questions.
Octavio's values and expertise will serve the district well.
Join me and vote yes for Octavio Gonzalez.
Director, Tigard-Tualatin School Board
Irvin, Lynn, Jaimes promote student voices
As an parent and educator in the Tigard-Tualatin School District, I have strong beliefs in Student Voice. Change and policies are only meaningful and effective if students are involved from conception through implementation. Three candidates running for School Board positions also believe in this and will advocate for amplifying student voices.
Tristan Irvin (Position 3):
"As a school board member, I would work to ensure that their voices continue to be amplified. ...No amount of policies and resolutions matter if our students are not feeling, hearing, and seeing those words in action every day"
Marvin Lynn (Position 5)
"Elevating Student Voice: Working closely with student groups to ensure that they are able to help guide the future of the district."
David Jaimes (Position 1)
"We must ensure that you all feel seen, welcomed, and like you belong in our schools. We will work together to make this happen. I have been in the classroom and understand that building relationships and treating students like individuals and critical thinkers is the best way to connect with you. You have a voice and I will do what I can to hear it and amplify it."
Shawnie Bailey, Tigard
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