Editor’s Note: Due to technical difficulties within the site, we were delayed in issuing this endorsement. Our endorsement for Edmond School Board – Place 5 will be tomorrow, and our endorsement for Norman Mayor will come Wednesday.
As promised, we have been working hard behind the scenes interviewing candidates for the two Edmond School Board positions as well as Norman mayor. With early voting less than a week away, We will be revealing our endorsements for these positions in a series of articles over the next few days.
We could simply list the names of the candidates we’ve endorsed, but we feel it’s important for you to hear from the candidates in their own words. That way you can make the best choice possible, and understand fully why we chose to endorse.
We begin this week with the Edmond School Board, Seat 2 position.
Edmond School Board – Seat 2
Cheryl Williams (Endorsed)
Background: Ran for EPS school board 25 years ago and lost by only 80 votes. Never lost the passion to serve, and has continued to be a fierce advocate for sound educational principles. Has a background in business, and worked with one of the largest bond-writing companies in the state that underwrites the majority of school bonds. As such, she has a deep understanding of how bonds are written and how they can be used and/or misused. Has 3 grandchildren in the district. Is passionate about giving kids education that is not indoctrination, and wants to prepare the kids to success straight out of high school.
IL: What are the biggest things that need to change in Edmond Public Schools?
CW: First off, we need a thorough audit of the districts finances to make sure that our tax dollars are being spent wisely. There is a lot about the way our current school bonds are written that is incorrect. We need to fix that so the tax dollars aren’t being wasted.
Second, we need to remember that it is the School Board that has the statutory authority to set curriculum…and we need to act like it. Right now, the curriculum choices, many of the pornographic and highly inappropriate, are being made by a “select committee” that answers to no one. Only a very few English teachers were selected to be on this committee, so the vast majority of teachers have no input whatsoever. That must change, along with bringing in much greater involvement from the parents. Parents should be allowed the right to review and approve books BEFORE they are put in the curriculum or library.
Third, we need to teach State-approve curriculum that follow State law…period. The law is there for a reason, and no district should be finding ways of trying to get around those established standards in order to continue indoctrinating our children.
And last, but perhaps the most important, we need to be preparing students to succeed in life…not just graduate and get a diploma. We need to be teaching them how to write resumes. How to apply for jobs. How to start their own business. How to properly manage their finances. How to be on time, work hard, and be respectful of their bosses and co-workers. School should not just be college-prep. It needs to be life-prep. Students should graduate with the training and education to succeed in whatever they want to do in life, whether those goals include college or not.
IL: How would you handle COVID within the district
CW: The district needs to start following State law, period, and get out of the business of tracking and micro-managing healthcare decisions. There should be no mask mandates and no vaccine mandates for ANYONE.
Instead, we need to focus on mitigation measures that actually work. Get better air filtration for all of our schools. Have the children use Sani-wipes to clean their desks and chairs and QUIT FORCING MASKS. They don’t work…ever. In fact, they just get in the way of the kids receiving a quality education. Facial movements, expression and the ability to see their teacher’s face is vital to their education. We need to stop pushing fear and start educating our students.
IL: What would you do to improve school safety?
CW: Well, for one we need to work with the Edmond Police Department to help them purchase, if need be, the equipment that would allow our fantastic School Resource Officers (SROs) to file reports in the field instead of having to go back to the police station. For a city our size, this really is a must. The EPD is an outstanding department, and we need to do everything possible as a district to work with them to make sure are SROs are the best equipped and best trained in the country.
We need to reexamine the policies surrounding threats of school violence. There is much too much gray area in the way those threats are handled now. We need to examine those polices and make sure they are as streamlined and clear-cut as possible.
That goes into restoring law and order. we absolute MUST restore law and order to our school halls. We have girls that end up with infections because they are too scared to go to the bathroom for fear that a boy will be in there. That is absolute unacceptable! If we don’t have law and order in our schools, then we will not have law and order in our society. We are losing outstanding teachers because of the chaos in the school buildings. We need to return the power to the teachers to enforce discipline in their classrooms. This means no teacher should feel powerless to defend themselves against a violent student.
Part of making this happen is getting the parents back into the schools in every way possible. Get dads and granddads walking the halls. Get moms in the lunchroom. Get parents in the classroom. The teachers shouldn’t have to enforce discipline by themselves. The parents need to be involved. They are asking to be, demanding to be more involved, but right now the district is completely stonewalling them out. That MUST change…now.