Here are my positions on the issues that people want to know. If you need any further explanation or want any clarification, please don’t hesitate to ask. You can contact me at the email or phone number below.
I’m passionate about making sure voters are informed so that they can make their best choice when they go into the voter booth.
Parents are the #1 decision-makers in their children’s education. We need to make our traditional public schools the very best they can be, but parents should be free to choose charter schools or homeschooling if that is what best meets the needs of their child or their family.
Parents should also maintain the right to approve or disapprove any sex education, health services, or counseling that might conflict with their family’s values.
It is a poor reflection on our county that we are one of the lowest paying districts for new teachers, and the lowest for teachers with several years of experience in our six county area. In the classroom, the most important factor in a student’s education is the teacher, and we need to be paying them a competitive salary that will keep experienced teachers in Brevard.
Florida spends almost exactly the same amount per student as several other states that have much higher average teacher salaries. We don’t need higher taxes. We need to be spending our tax dollars wisely, not wastefully, with a student focus rather than building a bigger bureaucracy. More money in the schools. Less money at the administration building.
The current discipline plan is taking control away from the local schools, administrators, and teachers, and keeping them from dealing with serious discipline problems in an appropriate way. Students who continually disrupt class are being taught that there are no real consequences to their actions, while other students are learning that the administration can do little to stop the behavior, including sexual harassment and bullying.
One way to deal with disruptive behavior and avoid too many days of out of school suspensions is to fund In School Suspension classrooms so that students still have access to a teacher, can keep up or catch up with their work, and yet the “audience” for their bad behavior is removed.
Brevard Public Schools has gradually been improving the physical safety of our campuses over the last school year. Communication with local law enforcement is vital to ensure that the physical structures are secure with fencing and single point of entry during the school day.
We also need to continue working with the county and municipalities to place school resource officers (SROs) in every school and to improve communication so that potential threats are dealt with in a timely manner.
In addition, I believe we need to enact a school marshal program (funded by the state legislature in the Marjory Stoneman Douglas HS Public Safety Act), which will allow the district to arm highly trained staff (not classroom teachers). This is a “break glass in case of emergency” measure that would require mental health screening, drug testing, more than 180 hours of training plus updates every year. These would be volunteers who are known only to administrators and local law enforcement and would be activated only in the case of an active shooter situation. Similar school marshal programs have been in place in other states since 2007 without incident.