The Student News Website of Francis Howell North High School.
The Collector Store

FHNtoday.com

The Student News Website of Francis Howell North High School.

FHNtoday.com

The Student News Website of Francis Howell North High School.
The Collector Store

FHNtoday.com

On March 19, a Forum Was Hosted To Discuss Board of Education Candidates Desires

<style>

Francis Howell Central Publications

On March 19, a forum to discuss each of the board of education candidates’ ambitions was hosted in the Francis Howell Central auditorium. Steven Blair, Carolie Owens, Adriana Kuhn and Sam Young are all running for the two open spots on the Francis Howell School Board following the retirement of current board members Janet Stiglitch and Chad Lange.  Questions were prepared by Francis Howell Central students and community members were also allowed to ask questions. Many controversial topics, such as teacher retention, funding issues and social issues were discussed with each candidate receiving 90 seconds to answer each question.

“When I saw continuing attacks against public schools and against public school teachers, I became very disturbed,” Owens said in her introductory speech. “When I heard public schools called trash and I heard teacher unions called evil, that was a slap in the face. It was a slap in the face to me and my entire family and [to] all of the teachers and students and schools in America.” 

Blair also worked to incorporate teacher retention into his discussion points. 

“A lot of the distractions are actually causing us to lose teachers,” Blair said. “Teachers who have said ‘This year has been very rough for our building.’ Teachers who have said trusting teachers and not bad-mouthing them in public is what they like to see.”

Young had a similar, yet still different approach to teacher retention, placing the blame of teachers leaving on both the students and administrators. His points discussed students not being punished for being disobedient to teachers. 

“One of the things [teachers] talk about most often is dealing with disrespect and disruption in the class,” Young said. “They talk about the feeling that administrators will take a student’s word of what happened over what the teacher was saying what happened. I don’t understand how that happens.” 

One of the district’s most relevant and controversial topics currently revolves around the decisions made by the current Board of Education regarding the Black History and Literature courses offered in Francis Howell High Schools. 

“These were elective courses and they were removed without any discussion,” Owens said. “We have curriculum writers, they weren’t consulted. The board said ‘We don’t need to consult them, we’ve made up our minds.’ That isn’t the way public schools work. I thought it seemed kind of sneaky.” 

However, after Owens’ response, Kuhn disagreed with the wording of the question, stating that it had falsities. 

“Did you say the board’s decision to remove and then reinstate Black History and Black Literature courses? Because that’s not entirely accurate,” Kuhn said. “The board removed the social justice teaching standards from the curriculum and it was always the administration’s sole responsibility and decision to keep those classes available for enrollment.”

Another main discussion point asked how the candidates felt they were the best options for a board director. Young pointed out his extensive military background, while Owens emphasized her background as an educator. Blair utilized his work in schools and churches to hone in on his experience. Kuhn, however, took a different approach, citing her experience as a stockbroker and small business owner. 

“I am also a previous stockbroker, a small business owner, and a graduate from Truman State University with a degree in Psychology,” Kuhn said. “Now all of those things, on the surface, I can see automatically how they can contribute to add value to the school board, but a few months ago while I started running for this position, it really hit me, the gravity of the situation of how well prepared I am for this role.” 

Although the discussions were fairly modest and calm at the beginning, questions about political funding began to arise, causing disruption in the audience and candidates to directly respond to each other, pointing out mistakes. Political Action Committees (PACs) are a partisan-backed resource to gain funding for different candidates running for political office. The main committee supporting Kuhn and Young is Francis Howell Families, while Blair and Owens are predominantly backed by Francis Howell Forward. 

“There is a PAC that endorses the two of you,” Blair said while speaking towards Kuhn and Young. “You can say that every single one of us [candidates] is connected to political activism. So let’s hold off this idea that some people are political activists and you guys are above them.” 

Many other hot topics, such as criticism of the current board, school vouchers and school bathroom controversies were also discussed. The election for the two open seats on the board will take place April 2.

Leave a Comment
Donate to FHNtoday.com
$105
$500
Contributed
Our Goal

Your donation will support the student journalists of Francis Howell North High School. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to FHNtoday.com
$105
$500
Contributed
Our Goal

Comments (0)

All FHNtoday.com Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *