Election Day Reflection

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Letter to the Editor

Election day has come and gone, and that warrants some reflection on the results. As a mom with three kids in the Lakeland Joint School District, the election of our school board trustees had my full attention. The voters cast their ballots and decided what direction they want our community headed. In 2019, this community voted to elect Ramona Grissom (zone 2) and Michelle Thompson (zone 3). During their four years on the school board, these two trustees helped to re-open the schools in the fall of 2020 without face masks, worked to keep our schools focused on education, and advocated for parental rights in the district.

In this year’s election, Trustee Thompson earned four times as many votes as she did in 2019 to win with 63 percent. Trustee Grissom more than doubled her 2019 votes to win with 62 percent. In all, voter turnout went from 990 votes for these two zones in 2019 to 2,670 votes cast in 2023. It looks like this community has spoken, and I am grateful that they did.

On Monday, November 13, 2023, the Lakeland Joint School District Board of Trustees held their regular business meeting. Trustee Grissom discussed a document she had drafted titled, “A Resolution in Support of Parental Rights in Education.” The board acknowledged the multiple Idaho state laws that support parents’ fundamental rights and duties to make decisions concerning their children’s education, as well as guaranteeing that parents’ voices are respected and incorporated into the development of academic curricula. Four out of five trustees voted to approve this resolution for adoption by the board: Trustees Grissom, Thompson, Randi Bain, and Dave Quimby. Trustee Bob Jones notably abstained.

The board then unanimously voted to approve a proclamation regarding the meaningful collaboration between the school district and families, and chose to recognize November as Parents’ Rights in Education Month. What a wonderful way to support the parents in the district, as well as to recognize what our community voiced loudly and clearly with this election: we want our schools to reflect our values, and we choose representatives whom we trust to keep our schools focused on the fundamentals of education.

By Jacqueline Myers, Rathdrum, Idaho