To the editor:
At the center of this year’s general election is the opportunity to elect a more diverse Osseo School Board. Historically, the board has been represented by elected officials living in a specific geographical region. As a father to four, I have seen how the priorities and values of the Osseo School Board conflict with the needs of the students and staff – and the families they are elected to represent. As our school district becomes more and more diverse, we must elect candidates that reflect our district’s diversity.
In the coming weeks we have the ability to put our passion of equity into action and to focus on what will create a more diverse school board. As a white male, it isn’t about knowing how to talk to my white allies about race and disparities. It certainly isn’t about the many diversity and equity trainings I’ve attended. But rather, it’s about acknowledging my privilege and knowing when I take up space. Our children need us as loud, proud allies and to elect BIPOC who can meet them where they’re at and provide the diverse insight the board is missing.
I am pleased to see that the organization representing the district’s teachers, nurses, support professionals and administrators are aggressively working to elect Thomas Brooks and Miamon Queeglay. As decision making and policy oversight progresses, an elected body that looks the same and shares similar life experiences doesn’t support the idea to “inspire and prepare all students to achieve their dreams; contribute to community; and engage in a lifetime of learning.” Rather, it hinders it.
I am supporting Thomas Brooks for the Osseo School Board, special election seat because I know he will bring a perspective to the board that is missing. As a black male living in Brooklyn Park who has adopted four children, his life experiences are opposite mine. And come November, Thomas’s experiences are at the center of what our school board needs.