Real changes needed

In a recent interview with Kamilah Long, who is looking to serve on the Ashland School Board, the Tidings reported Long’s press release noted the effect of systemic racism upon the district and asked “if she’s concerned that such a strong statement may put current board members on the defensive.”

Having watched the workings of the school board for a few years, I have seen the good faith and civic duty exemplified in the individuals who serve on it. I am convinced every single director of the board would heartily agree that the assured uninterrupted comfort of white people in authority is of far lesser priority than ensuring the safety and accessibility of our school district for all students, including students of color.

As a parent, it’s clear to me that real changes need to be made to provide a school district in which absolutely no student is bullied, threatened, harassed, assaulted, or impeded because of whatever particular immutable characteristics they bring to the district. When the school board drives toward that goal, which must be included in supervising the overall health of the district, I believe the necessary changes are within reach.

I look forward to seeing the editorial approach of the Tidings share in prioritizing the well-being of our students, as opposed to the security of Ashland’s white hegemony.

Heath Belden

Ashland