The three candidates for Position 1 on the Spokane Public Schools board of directors have extensive experience in education.
Nikki Lockwood, Katey Treloar and Brian Trimble face off in the Aug. 6 primary, with the top two vote-getters advancing to the general election on Nov. 5. Treloar and Trimble have taught in the district, and Lockwood was a volunteer in the Spokane schools for many years.
One of them will replace incumbent Sue Chapin, who opted not to run for re-election for another six-year term.
Although they share some of the same positions, they differ on some key issues.
Below are the their takes on some of the important topics facing the district.
Do you believe the district should arm its campus resource officers?
LOCKWOOD: No. I support a public health approach to school safety: evidence-based approaches, including improvements to school climate, mental health therapists, counselors, social emotional learning and decreasing punitive discipline and addressing bullying. Counselors, not cops.
TRIMBLE: No. There is no clear data that supports armed campus resource officers will provide a safer, more secure learning environment. My concern is that students of lower socioeconomic status, students with behavioral challenges or students of color may be disproportionately targeted.
TRELOAR: I would first like the opportunity to read Safe Haven’s report. Saying “yes” or “no” immediately is too hasty. The arming of resource officers must be researched, discussed and decided upon as a collaborative group. Any decisions made must be communicated to the public in a thoughtful and research-driven way.
What do you see as the biggest challenge facing the district?
LOCKWOOD: Funding for this next year and the repercussions for inadequate funding on providing education, special education and sense of safety.
TRIMBLE: Balancing the budget, reinstating our teaching professionals who lost their positions and continuing funding our special programs for students who need more support, both academically and socially.
TRELOAR: Managing our budget and procuring the funding. These steps will drive our decision making on safety and security, class size in grades 4-6, librarians, special education and allocating mental health resources.
If you were on the board, would you vote to place a supplemental levy on this year’s ballot?
LOCKWOOD: Yes. I would support giving the community the opportunity to support the gaps in providing public education, yes.
TRELOAR: No. Our schools need more money, but the cost cannot be borne solely by Spokane residents. We need Olympia to understand that they have not done all that is needed to fully fund our children’s education.
TRIMBLE: Yes. Place a levy on this year’s fall ballot and allow for the opportunity for families and stakeholders to decide if they would like to continue to invest in our teachers, students and schools.
Do you support the new sex education curriculum the district adopted?
LOCKWOOD: Yes. I was on the human growth and development committee that advised on the curriculum, and I absolutely support the adoption. I am also in support of the inclusion of curriculum on gender identity and sexual orientation.
TRELOAR: Yes. The school district chose a research-based curriculum that was developed through collaboration with community members and partner organizations. Children need to be provided sex education in school to keep them safe and healthy. The new sections on gender identity and sexual orientation are focused on vocabulary, and it is important to have correct terminology to be a part of the world we live in.
TRIMBLE: Yes. I do believe in offering sex education in public schools.
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