I’ll preface this article with a disclaimer: I am not a resident of the Millard School District. I am, however, a citizen of the State of Nebraska and, perhaps more significantly, a citizen of the world. I am doing my best to raise my children to be thoughtful, kind, and introspective, and to be respectful of their fellow classmates and of the adults they encounter.
I’m also raising them to see things clearly. I’m raising them to call out injustice when they see it, regardless of the age of the person being unjust.
Our public schools in Nebraska should reflect our core values in Nebraska. Those core values include inclusivity and respect for cultural diversity of ALL people. So, imagine my chagrin when I see that the Omaha World-Herald has endorsed Mike Kennedy for re-election to the Millard School Board.
Note first that, per the OWH:
“The school board has had to make tough decisions, including restructuring the elementary school band and strings program, closing its culinary arts career academy and its middle school alternative program, ending Latin and Japanese courses and reducing para-educators’ hours.”
Thus, the Millard School Board is responsible for structuring a curriculum to best serve its students and to help make those students productive members of society. The values of the school board will ultimately shine through the decisions made by that body; decisions that should necessarily be non-partisan and, again, inclusive.
Mike Kennedy, according to the OWH, “has deep political experience at the local level…Kennedy, a Republican and a fiscal conservative, says Millard Public Schools are at a crossroads as they work to keep their strong academic programming while managing through difficult budget times.”
Mr. Kennedy also apparently finds himself at another crossroad: the intersection of racism and political campaigning. Note a recent post by Mr. Kennedy on social media:
“Looks like Elizabeth Warren is already stumping in Iowa for 2020.”
Now, I understand that the world is a different place than when I was a kid. There was no social media platform upon which I could place even the most insolent and inappropriate thought that might occur to me, without regard for the consequence. I didn’t grow up in a political climate in which respecting cultures other than our has now completely fallen away, and politicians saw fit to name-call and insult anyone who disagreed with them. Bullies could not be assured of anonymity. This makes it even more critical that we teach our children that this racist behavior is unacceptable.
So I ask you, the parents of Millard school children: is this the person you want steering their education? Are you comfortable with Mr. Kennedy calling your child whatever racist epithet your heritage dictates? Can you imagine a school in which a teacher with Native American heritage is referred to as “Pocahontas” by a school board member?
Given this, it should come as no surprise that Mike Kennedy has gone on the attack against another candidate for Millard School Board, Dulce Sherman. Dulce is head of the state Democratic party’s Latinx conference, she is the child of immigrants, and unlike Mike Kennedy, she believes in comprehensive and accurate health education should be taught in Millard Schools.
If you are in Millard School District, do not listen to the Omaha World Herald. Mike Kennedy does not represent Nebraska values.
We can do better than this. We can be better than this.
Vote him out.