We are the Student Safety First slate of candidates, running for the Delaware Valley School District school director position. We’re a social worker (BSW), a board-certified behavior analyst, …
We are the Student Safety First slate of candidates, running for the Delaware Valley School District school director position. We’re a social worker (BSW), a board-certified behavior analyst, and an early childhood educator/paralegal. We’re parents, uncles, aunts and volunteers in this community. We love our community and this school district, and we’re fighting to make sure every voice is heard and respected. Our platform is about putting safety first, because kids can’t learn when they aren’t safe—and we promise to make our decisions based on science, best practices and advice from experts. We believe that being open to respectful and honest discussions is paramount to making informed decisions.
Our opponents are touting an “Education First” platform, and say they are running on their record. At least the incumbents are—we haven’t heard anything from Derek Smith. Unfortunately, since they haven’t responded to any requests for forums or debates, their record is all we have. So, let’s take a look at that record.
They tout keeping schools open. But as of right now, COVID cases are skyrocketing in our school system. September 2021 had 88 cases, when September 2020 had only seven. Two weeks into October, we’re already at 55 cases. By the end of October in 2020, we had only three. This doesn’t include the literal hundreds of quarantined students not receiving in-person learning. School is not “open” for them, and with their own reported 25 percent in-school contact traced spread, the numbers will continue to rise. Many of these cases could have been avoided if the board didn’t vote in political lockstep to defy the mask mandate.
Our opponents tout fiscal responsibility. But by choosing to defy the law, they are now opening up the school district and taxpayers to lawsuits; they also risk the school’s insurance, which would require taxpayers to support a $20 million bond in order to keep the school operational. And with millions received from federal funds, instead of hiring therapists, and additional educational staff to handle the unique needs of learning during a pandemic, they have opted, without community input, as required, to build another gym or “multi-purpose room.”
As we’ve run and reached out to the community, we’ve unfortunately heard countless stories of bullying and harassment. Racial and homophobic epithets and treatment—and a board that claims they have no idea any of this is happening. There are reports of sexual harassment, and victims and advocates being bullied to delete evidence, or punished for protesting.
Our “Education First” opponents’ record is so bad, and puts actual learning so far behind politics, that for the first time, the teachers’ union (DVEA) has taken the unprecedented act of endorsing our Student Safety First slate. Because not only have the students been disrespected and put in harm’s way, so have our educators—who, we think we can all agree, love our students and community and deserve a safe place to work, free from retaliation.
Now is the time to rally together. Now is the time to be the change. We must come together to support our students and educators. We are asking you, whether by mail-in ballot or an in person vote on Election Day November 2, to vote for us: E.K. Guyre, John Johnson, and to write in Meg Rosenfeld. Our students and community deserve better.
E.K. Guyre, John Johnson and Meg Rosenfeld
Candidates for DVSD school board
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