"I want to work for your children's future. We must upset the status quo to create an educational system designed to improve our schools, offer more diversity of choices, put parents back in charge and provide the best opportunities for our youth. I know what it takes to find solutions, navigate complicated governmental agencies, and get things done."
ON THE ISSUES
Don't Tread On Anyone
I hold that all individuals have the right to exercise sole dominion over their own lives, and have the right to live in whatever manner they choose, so long as they do not forcibly interfere with the equal right of others to live in whatever manner they choose.
Recognizing that the education of children is a parental responsibility, we should restore authority to parents to determine the education of their children, without interference from government. Parents should have control of and responsibility for their children’s education.
I hold that for the betterment of all, achieving greater quality, more accountability and increased efficiency while offering more diversity of choices in educating all members of our communities with disregard to socio-economical status, beliefs, race, sex, sexuality, gender or gender identity, age or any other elements that make individuals unique from one another.
I support the improvement and expansion of mental health opportunities in our schools. 1 in 6 U.S. youth aged 6-17 experience a mental health disorder each year. 44,000 Alabama students age 12-17 have depression. High school students with depression are more than two times more likely to drop out than their peers.61.8% of Alabamians age 12–17 who have depression did not receive any care in the last year. Half of all lifetime mental illness begins by age 14, and 75% begins by age 24. Early intervention is essential because the earlier people get help, the better the outcomes. It is critical to promote greater awareness and early identification of mental health conditions in youth and young adults.
I recognize the necessity for our students to learn matters beyond academics. Our youth need education in personal finance, life skills, emotional intelligence, career planning, self care, environmental care, social relations and much more. A new system where school is not simply a place where instruction is given, but is “preparation for life itself.” With today’s emphasis on high stakes testing, the tightening of academic standards, and fierce competition for university seats, practical skills do not receive they attention our students require in order to be well equipped for adulthood.
DIVERSITY OF CHOICES
I consider the traditional school format under which most educational systems operate are constraining and unable to be applicable to all. I believe that in order to give students the greatest possible opportunities for successful educational achievements a system must be created and fostered that provides for a multitude of learning pathways. Educational entrepreneurship endeavors, including micro-schools, learning pods, homeschooling and unschooling collaboratives should be expanded and allowed to freely contribute to other more traditional styles of instruction.
Our schools and learning centers absolutely must be maintained as a safe environment for our children void of any use of force or violence. Currently our inmates in the state prison system paying their debt to society are protected more than the innocent youth of our communities attempting to learn and become upstanding citizens. I support the rights of educators and faculty members of our public schools to arm themselves while on school grounds. We must allow our educators to defend themselves and the students whose care they are entrusted from any potential threat to their right of life and liberty. I approve of installing signage to this effect to serve as a deterrent to any person contemplating the use of force or violence upon our schoolchildren. As a member of the Alabama State Board of Education I will endeavor to work alongside our community members and veteran organizations to create an armed volunteer school watch program charged with the protection and safe keeping of our school grounds.
I stand that parents, or other guardians, have the right to raise their children according to their own standards and beliefs, provided that the rights of children to be free from abuse and neglect are also protected.
I hold that governments, when instituted, must not violate individual rights, as such I oppose all interference by government in the areas of voluntary and contractual relations among individuals. People should not be forced to sacrifice their lives and property for the benefit of others.
Individuals are inherently free to make choices for themselves and must accept responsibility for the consequences of the choices they make. In support of an individual’s right to make choices in life does not mean signify approval or disapproval of those choices. No individual, group, or government may rightly initiate force against any other individual, group, or government. I reject the notion that groups have inherent rights. I am in support of the rights of the smallest minority, the individual.
I uphold and defend the rights of every person, regardless of their race, ethnicity, or any other aspect of their identity. Government should neither deny nor abridge any individual’s human right based upon sex, wealth, ethnicity, creed, age, national origin, personal habits, political preference, or sexual orientation.
The forced use of a one-size-fits-all approach to education has failed. Frustrations and falling results prove this. As a member of the Alabama State Board of Education one of my primary priorities would be to remove this gross governmental overstep from our educational system and hand over the decision on the curriculum being taught to our students back into the hands of our community's educators. These talented and passionate educators know the students and their needs more than anyone. Any attempt to apply universalities to a subject matter cannot succeed as it allows for no accommodation to a vast variety of diverse situations and participants.