In an effort to help you make informed decisions during the General Election, ABC Action News has reached out to dozens of candidates running for office. The following statements have been submitted to ABC Action News by the candidate. Every candidate was given the same set of questions. These are their responses in his/her own words.
Name: Lynn Gray
Office: HCPS School Board - District 7
40 years of Educational/teaching experience: Elem, Middle, HS., USF, Jesuit HS plus owning my own business: Take...The First Step
Why should voters vote for you?
l. Classroom experience in almost every level of education,
2. Currently on School Board; 4 years of knowledge of HCPS District’s fiscal and instructional priorities
3. Continuance of initiatives such as a) African-American Studies, b) Hispanic Educational Outreach c) Policy implementation of hiring more black leaders and other policy write-ups representing our demographics of our students and the current COVID situation
If elected, what are your top priorities?
1. Instructional excellence
2. Fiscal adjustments to strengthen our budget
3. COVID safety for students, staff, and our teachers
What are three key messages of your campaign?
1. “Our children are our future.”
2. Concentrate on a “seat at a child’s desk” vs. getting a “seat at the table” of political gain. I am student – centered
3. Lasting educational decisions come from collaboration of parents, the Supt., the staff, and our teachers.
What areas of public policy are you personally passionate about?
1. Increase of Hispanic outreach and processes which allow them to become easily enrolled and successful in school – mostly due to their language barriers plus lack of socio-economic means
2. Increase Black Leadership and Hispanic leaders-plus teachers in our school
3. Equality and equity for minority and/or marginalized populations such as: the Migrant students, LGBTQ and the Muslim communities
As it relates to the role you are seeking, how has that governmental body handled the Covid-19 pandemic? What would you do differently/the same in handling both the public health risk and the economic recovery?
-Poor/inadequate at State and Federal level, average-for local level
1. Abide by Health experts and set COVID policies based on their recommendations; vs. political recommendations
2. Require mask wearing/social distancing in all public places at all times.
3. Promote/market in a positive way the outcomes of wearing masks and practicing social distancing
4. Continue to have all school students, staff, and teachers wear masks/ practice social distancing; including any visitors and parents.
5. Set up buses in local communities where “fast testing/results” can be had for our parents/students...so contact tracing is relevant and meaningful to the school’s safety
6. Require student/staff member/teacher to document quarantine fulfillment if COVID case is true in each case.
In the role you are seeking, what will you do to address issues of racism and inequality?
1. Currently working on expanding and adding more rigor to AAmerican studies throughout every grade in our schools.
2. Currently working on policy increasing Black leaders and Hispanic leaders in our schools.
3. Just passed a Proclamation to end “Systematic Racism” in our HCPS way of work among all employees
4. Currently (last 4 years) working with Positive Behavior Supports Intervention; called “Restorative Justice” (PBIS-with USF) to reduce and eliminate disproportionate suspensions of children of color.
What motivates you to run for public office?
My instructional and business background is extremely helpful to our district. Our district needs strong direction and experience in both those areas; fiscally - especially as we face increasingly stinging budget cuts from Tallahassee; instruction – getting our children to learn reading skills beginning in Pre-K and making sure our teachers are effective; plus having our curriculums relevant to our demographics we serve. Most importantly teaching and learning which prepares our children for success in their lives.