Yes We Agree – Let’s Bring More Diversity To School Boards

Franklin County school board elections could be more interesting than ever November 2nd.

As the upheaval of parents and others expressing concerns over mask and vaccine mandates continues as well as concerns about the ideology being taught in many public schools revealed by last year’s at-home virtual classes, more board seats are being challenged than we’ve seen for a long time by such concerned individuals in some districts, and serious write in campaigns are happening in others.

Recent moves by the National School Board Association to have the Biden Administration sic the FBI on such concerned citizens showing up at school board meetings while suggesting they can be compared to domestic terrorists, a move many see as an attempt to intimidate anyone who may want to question the education establishment, and local anonymous smear campaigns against certain more conservative candidates, have both only highlighted the possible stakes of what your vote might mean. Will we get more members who recognize the value of having more parent and community involvement in education and more transparency from our school districts, or not?

The Greencastle-Antrim School District has 5 such challengers who got in early in the race, all winning in the primary. These are Janon Gray, Christopher Bonillas, Hal Myers, Rich Davis and Eileen Dickinson.  Apparently there are those so threatened by some non-educator related candidates getting on the board they are attempting an anonymous smear campaign against the five, leaving unsigned notes on parked cars at high school football games and mailing the same to elected officials. 

In Chambersburg, while two seats being vacated had no official candidates for the primary, one of those seats is being actively pursued by former school board member Joan Smith in a write in campaign as she too has growing concerns about the mandates and leftist ideology making its way into national education organizations that advise our schools.

In Shippensburg three parents have taken up the challenge. Steph Eberly officially ran in the primary and is on the ballot for district A. Two others Levi Cressler and Rebecca Kessler are running in district B and district C respectively.

In Waynesboro four more parents are conducting a write in campaign with a strong sense there is a need for more people on the board with their perspective, that perhaps cannot wait for the next election. They are Janeen McChesney and Rebecca Sanders challenging the Waynesboro seats, Joseph Miller challenging the Washington Township seat and Debbie Wise challenging the North End.

To be sure some of these parents, grandparents and concerned citizens have an up hill battle, especially the write-in candidates and those going up against incumbents, but if you share their concerns then you might be inclined to help them succeed and make sure parents, grandparents and more outside-the-education-bubble perspectives become a part of our school boards. 

Some might call it a bid for school board diversity.