Board Candidate Renee James Murad

How will you make an impact?

I hope by making decisions and listening to all the stakeholders that are also in line with a mission and a specific plan of the district.

What should be the main goal of the Board?

I think to improve the transparency of the board as well as to review following input from all the stakeholders’ codes of conduct and different issues that come to force.  It isn’t an agenda, but rather just trying to improve on what the board is doing right now.

Should school activities receive equal attention and financing?

If that was possible, yes. I think Dr. Smith is doing a good job with sending out the newsletter and academic achievements. I also think that’s another area in addition to photography, and I think sometimes different pieces of writing that have been covered because I saw some of my son’s friends won a playwriting award.  I think that that is an important area and they should be covered equally to the fullest extent.

How do you plan to make changes at our schools?

We have to look at what’s needed at schools like the elementary schools.  For example, sensory pads for students who have ADHD and different supplies. We have to look at in terms of what needs our focus the most.

What is the most pressing issue facing the Board?

I think there’s always an issue between having enough money to fund things you like to put in place.  There is definitely a need for additional staff training in areas, from additional upkeep in mental health to inclusive education. Of course, all those things cost money, so we ask ourselves where can we get partnerships with businesses and how can we add to what we already have?

On the referendum to add a student representative to the Board

I think it’s great. We’re on the school board for our students and they should definitely have a voice that is there on a regular basis.

How will you make student voices heard?

I think having someone on the board is a good step and to really seeking input from students.  I have a senior son who helps me seek more accurate information from parents and students. Encouraging them to participate in surveys online and attend the board meetings would be very beneficial.

Who should have the final say in what is published in a school newspaper?

I agree wholeheartedly that the new bill that’s being proposed lays out to the administrators exactly what their role is and to provide protection for an advisor that is specifically speaking up for the students. I teach educationalists so I teach teachers that are going to be administrators and I spend a lot of time on Tinker and Hazelwood so that they understand what they can and can’t do in terms of the First Amendment.

What is your position on the Journalism Free Speech Act?

I think that’s a great piece of legislation and it lays out what the case law is.  I don’t think all administrators are familiar with it, but it says that these are the things that turn to threats or what you can possibly do to provide protection for school advisors or other people who are advocating on behalf of the student journalists.

Whose voices should carry the most weight in establishing policies?

I think they all have to be heard.