OPINION

LETTER: School board election

April Cromer/Lansing

To the editor:

The current USD 469 school board race has been interesting to say the least. Many candidates have emerged from every walk of life. More importantly, many parents decided to join the race, hoping they could make a difference from the status quo and ensure parents’ voices would be heard.

The primary results of the Lansing school board race really proved who community members want to represent them on the school board. I am one who believes we should have a diverse group of elected individuals representing the people. As Abraham Lincoln stated, “government should be of the people, by the people, for the people.”

I have witnessed many so-called local community “leaders” (including various local elected officials, current school board members and some school board candidates) using social media platforms and school board meetings to “cancel” and silence those in the community with legitimate concerns. While trying to engage a few of them in a respectful dialogue on the issues at hand, I was attacked for being pro-life and even attacked for my Christian faith.

This is not modeling respect for diversity and inclusion. This is cancel culture at its worst, sets a very poor example for our students and has no place in Lansing or in Leavenworth County. As adults, we are expected be role models for the younger generation. Hatred and division within the community is not what children should witness, especially from school board members. Such a climate does not create good future leaders, but it does encourage bullying, group think and unilateral conformity.  

We have to stop fueling hatred and start fighting for the students: our children and grandchildren. Our focus should be on offering them the absolute best education we can. Unfortunately, the local school board has become complacent, a good old boys system that values nepotism, one-sided thinking and a lack of public transparency.

I can no longer stand by and watch some individuals continue to sideline the input of parents, indoctrinate instead of illuminate and create victims in lieu of empowered thinkers. Because I have personally witnessed such egregious behavior, I realized the great community of Lansing deserves a better school board.

When I am elected, I will serve our community and I will always respect parents’ choices for their own children whether or not they differ from my views. That is what liberty is all about. I will not mock or belittle parents or teachers as some candidates have done. I will never make others feel like their voice does not matter, or as if they are too ignorant to deserve an accounting for a board decision. I am one of us, and ready to help our kids reach their utmost potential.