#4ThePeople: Meet the Mead School Board candidates

MEAD, Wash — Just six days from election day the rhetoric is heating up.

Like most districts with school board elections right now, conversations about critical race theory, masks and vaccines dominate conversations.

Mead School District was one of the first places to reopen its school to in-person learning. Recently, they fired four employees for not following the state’s vaccine mandate.  That’s why the rhetoric between incumbent Carmen Green and BrieAnne Gray is heating up in the race for school board position number 5.

When it comes to the future of our children’s education, the race for school board seats is important, which is why Gray chose to run for school board.

“There are no members on the school board who have children in school right now and we are facing some unprecedented challenges that in education and I think we need a parent on the board who can represent that choice,” Gray said.

Green, who currently holds the position, explained with the past two years lost to COVID, she wants the time back.

“There are some programs starting that I’m really excited about, and want to be a part of that getting launched, they’re kind of passion projects of mine that I kept really pushing on, and I’m really excited about having those things happen,” Green said.

With the pandemic taking the forefront these past two years, neither support the mask or the vaccine mandate.

“I don’t support mandates coming from the governor,” Gray said. “The public schools are meant to be run locally, and getting these mandates to follow is just an overreach. So, I don’t support the mandates in general.”

“I don’t love mandates,” Green said. “I think mandates are hard to manage because it just almost pushes people’s buttons of saying, I already don’t have a lot of control over my life. Things that are related to health and I know people want us to push back on that and to be able to control what’s going on in our school district — I would never say I have the expertise to make that decision.”

At the forefront of this race is a suggested reading list that was released by Creekside Elementary School, pulled from Seattle’s Children Museum. On it was a book with themes related to Critical Race Theory. The list released in an April newsletter has since been pulled, according to Mead School District. Critical Race Theory has not been taught in Mead or any other school district.

Gray plans to make sure CRT stays outside of the classroom in the future.

“I think we can see its principles are starting to seep their way into the schools right now, and I think it’s important we have somebody on the board to stand up and look through this and push back against it. I don’t think it supports it being taught in the schools either,” she said.

Green, on the other hand, recognizes conversations about race are already finding their way in schools.

“Real conversations where we talk about real people feel like they’re treated, or are treated and we as white people, maybe aren’t paying attention to that. I think those are important conversations for us, ” she said.

Both will be on the Nov. 2 ballot for Mead School Board position number 5.

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