At a time when our students are struggling to recover from two years of a pandemic, incidents of school violence are rising, and a loud but small faction is calling for censoring what books our kids can read and what educators can teach about our history, it’s more important than ever to look closely at who represents our kid’s interests.
As school board meetings grow more and more contentious it is naive to think our kids are unaffected. Students across the school system are feeling the pressure and worry about the future of their education. We have heard so much about what adults think kids should learn, but very little about what they want to learn.
When asked about the recent news around book challenges in North Carolina, William Wood, a junior at Simon G. Atkins Academic and Tech High School said, “Books are an important resource for students to explore their own identities and to learn to empathize with others who identify differently,” he explained the importance of learning about diverse experiences saying, “I don’t want my life to be in a bubble in which ignorance is a shield. Learning about experiences outside my own helps me to be a better person by expanding my perspective and understanding of the world around me.”
William’s sister Maya, a freshman at Atkins High School had this to say about what history she wants to learn, “During middle and high school, I learned a great amount pertaining to the building of America on the backs of enslaved people,” she went on to add that “I studied this important history in an environment that was helpful instead of shameful.” She emphasized how important it was to her by saying, “It is incredibly important to learn the true history of our country; enlightening people on the injustice of said history, as well as the triumph of those who have overcome immense adversity.”
This month, voters in Forsyth County will have the opportunity to choose between 27 candidates running in the primary election for 9 seats on the Winston Salem Forsyth County Board of Education. Early voting has already begun and election day is on May 17th. The general election for the board takes place on November 8th.
Elections for the Winston Salem Forsyth Board of Education are partisan and all nine seats on the board are up for election this year. Six of the nine sitting board members have decided not to run for re-election, creating six open seats. There are two seats representing District 1, three seats representing District 2, and four At-Large seats.
For more information on how and where to vote see the Forsyth County Board of Elections website. For more information on the school board candidates in Forsyth county see this candidate questionnaire from The Winston Salem Journal.