Community poses questions for Town Hall Debate

The+Town+Hall+debate+was+a+chance+for+candidates+to+display+their+views+on+certain+topics%2C+but+not+everything+was+addressed.+Those+questions+will+be+in+the+article+below.

Franky Walsh

The Town Hall debate was a chance for candidates to display their views on certain topics, but not everything was addressed. Those questions will be in the article below.

On Monday, October 18th, North Penn School District’s school board candidates were challenged with relevant questions in order to display their views and stances to the surrounding community. Election day is one week away, and the town hall debate was a showcase of what each team of candidates plans to provide if they are elected to the board. Civility and composure were displayed throughout the 90-minute debate, with all candidates sharing sentiments on helping students and families throughout the district. 

As a moderator, I felt energy during the night that was full of respect and reintroduced the power of choice to citizens in the North Penn Community. 

In the weeks leading up to the Town Hall, The Knight Crier collected questions from the community to be posed to the candidates during the debate. Though many difficult questions were asked, and many thoughtful answers were given throughout the night, there was clearly not enough time to include all submitted questions. Additionally, some of the questions did not fall under the four categories around which the debate was structured. 

Below are those questions we were not able to include. 

Questions: 

 

1. It is important for the integrity of the school board and our school district that our school board directors are committed to the job they were elected to do.  If elected, are you committed to serving your full 4-year term and not running for higher office next year?

2. CHOP has seen an unprecedented amount of inpatient cases of children with Autism due to behavioral health issues. How will you address these issues moving forward so these kids don’t fall further behind socially emotionally and educationally?

3. Hello, this question is specifically for Jesse Bradica. Jessie’s campaign blurb mentions that she will “ensure that NPSD policies are apolitical.” Could she elaborate on why an elected politician wouldn’t make political decisions and what decisions are currently political that shouldn’t be?

4. Parents have absolute authority over their children’s health decisions, especially when science has been bastardized for ideological and political gains. School kids are being used as political pawns. Parents are taking a stand for freedom of speech and choice. Now teachers’ unions have asked the federal government to intervene, intimidate and label these parents as DOMESTIC TERRORISTS. Do you agree with the teachers union getting the federal agencies involved to go after the parents? will you side with the parents or the teachers’ unions?

5. 12 years ago, disagreements between the school board and the teachers’ union resulted in a strike, delaying the start of the school year. Since then, the school board and the teachers’ union have successfully negotiated contracts resulting in a stable learning environment for our children. What would be your strategy to continue this harmony?

6. I would like to know the reasoning behind choosing the math program IXL?

7. Why was it decided to build a new HS football stadium instead of installing air conditioning in the middle schools?

8. Is North Penn going to mandate the COVID vaccine for all children once the vaccine receives FDA approval for younger children?

9. Do you believe that equity programs can be implemented without reducing standards for any student?

10. Teachers bring their own opinions about politics and social issues into the classrooms. How will you commit to stopping that and ensuring that our students are not influenced by the opinions and feelings of authority figures in their lives?

11. Do you have plans to test students for covid? Test to stay? Test to play?

12. Where were you on January 6th and what were you doing?

13. Why is the first priority listed on the Republican candidates’ literature to vote no to the racist indoctrination of our children? What do you mean by that? Are we following in Texas’s footsteps to teach both sides of the Holocaust?

14. Do your own children attend North Penn?  If not, why should I believe that the future of North Penn is one of your top priorities?  

15. How do you propose to keep politics out of our children’s education?  

16. Do you believe the presidential election was stolen, or that joe Biden is not our legally elected president?  

17. Do you support the trans community in this high school? Would you be supportive of a trans student who wanted to run for homecoming queen or would you be supportive of a trans boy playing football on the boys’ football team?

18. If the Governor lifted his order to require masks in schools today, would you maintain the order for North Penn or allow families to make the decision for their own children?

19. Why have you mischaracterized the spending on the Crawford Stadium upgrades as taking funds from other spending priorities in the school district?

20. Can you explain why a billionaire is funding 50 school board races across PA? What are his goals? What obligations will his donation recipients have to him?

21. Diversity, equity, and inclusion have been a politicized effort across the country, including our school district. Please explain how you will govern in a manner that will make all individuals feel safe, included, and listened to regardless of national origin, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, disability, socioeconomic status, or gender identity.

22. There has been a lot of negativity involved in this school board race. Please explain how you will govern in a manner to help the community heal, unite and move forward together.

23. What role or voice do you believe parents have in determining the curriculum that should be taught in schools?  Do you believe that the subject matter curriculum should be made public to the parents along with a list of required in-class or individual readings?

24. There has been a lot of conversation regarding a pilot program of a district-run and administered health services department which includes the construction of a multi-million dollar facility. Do you feel it wise for the district to assume the millions of dollars of debt it would require to explore the viability and practicality of such an endeavor?  Do you think it appropriate for the district to be wading into other non-education-related activities?