Jefferson County School Board District 4 | Kentuckians For The Commonwealth

Jefferson County School Board District 4

A special election will take place on November 5 to fill the unexpired term (through 2020) – following the resignation of Ben Gies earlier this year – on the Jefferson County School Board, District 4. The district includes a portion of southwestern Jefferson County. 

Eight candidates are running for the seat in the nonpartisan election. Thanks to four for responding to the KFTC survey; their answers follow.

The special election coincides with the general election for statewide offices. Go here and enter your address to see if this race will be on your ballot.

Also on the November 5 ballot for this seat are:

  • Saundra Gibson
  • Debra Gray
  • Joe Laurenz
  • Dave Whitlock

Cassandra Ryan

Question 1:

Do you support JCPS' current "Safe Haven" resolution? How will you support immigrant students and families during your term? What is your view of the role of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) within our schools?

Yes, I do support the current JCPS " Safe Haven resolution.  I feel the educational system main responsibility is to serve ALL children when it relates to their educational needs. Our only job we owe to the families is to make sure the children learn to the best of their ability. The goal is to create future, successful adults. This should occur no matter if they are born in the USA or immigrants. I will support immigrants by making sure their language barriers continue to be a priority. As a past PTA President I recalled a Mother needing the information we generated in Spanish. Only her children could speak English and this made her very uncomfortable. As I have strengthen my knowledge of advocacy I see better than ever the need for all school activities in school for the children or after school activities focused on all cultures. Also, I think as a potential Board Member let it be known that I have no belief that families should be made to feel like they don't belong. I personally do not believe ICE should impact our children while in schools. The policy that only when it is legally binding should a school have to comply to the law. We must obey the law but again, our ONLY FOCUS should be to teach our children to be future leaders in our community and make them comfortable while in school. Never should a family feel their child is in jeopardy of being taken out of the safe place the schools are for our children.

Joe Marshall

Campaign website: http://www.joemarshallky.com

Campaign Facebook: Facebook

Campaign Twitter: Twitter

Question 1:

Do you support JCPS' current "Safe Haven" resolution? How will you support immigrant students and families during your term? What is your view of the role of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) within our schools?

The Safe Haven Resolution states, "The resolution asserts that JCPS has a responsibility to welcome and educate all students, regardless of their immigration status, and to celebrate their contributions to our diverse learning community." I am in full support of this measure. As a classroom educator at Wheatly Elementary, I had the pleasure of teaching many ESL students from various cultures including students from Mexico, Senegal, and the Philippines. These students and their families brought a rich, diverse perspective to the importance of education and provided a welcomed addition of diversity. As a board member my job is to review policies and budget measures to ensure that all underserved populations have equity including immigrant families. With that said, I do not support the presence of ICE within our school buildings. Our job is to provide a safe environment for all students; the trauma associated with ICE would not allow us to achieve this goal.

Joseph A. Goodin

Campaign website: http://www.goodinfor4.org

Campaign Facebook: Facebook

Question 1:

Do you support JCPS' current "Safe Haven" resolution? How will you support immigrant students and families during your term? What is your view of the role of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) within our schools?

ICE maintains it is their policy not to enact immigration enforcement in schools unless there is prior approval by the superintendent and/or urgent circumstances; the Department of Homeland Security verifies such. ICE is not to arrest or detain, speak or interrogate, illegally search or conduct surveillance on a person for immigration enforcement while on school grounds or buildings, school bus stops, or an educational activity (field trip, etc.). That being the policy, why is it necessary for a separate piece of legislation like Safe Haven resolutions?

The last thing we want is to be found clueless and without public declaration on where we stand, we are easy prey to less-than-professional actions. My job is to ensure that doesn’t happen and uphold JCPS’s resolution, which basically says though we understand and respect the laws, we recognize that we are honor-bound to educate all children in our public school system—regardless of what demographic data you want to infer. While in our care, they will not be interfered with or pursued. I have a role as Board member to see to it that the extent of their reach ends at our doors.

Shameka Parrish-Wright

Campaign website: https://shameka4district4.com

Campaign Facebook: Facebook

Campaign Twitter: Twitter

Question 1:

Do you support JCPS' current "Safe Haven" resolution? How will you support immigrant students and families during your term? What is your view of the role of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) within our schools?

Yes, I fully support JCPS’s Safe Haven resolution. School should not be a place where students have to worry whether or not they will be coming home. ICE has no place in our school system, and it is the Board’s duty to ensure that all children feel safe within the walls of their school building. Our teachers, staff and administrators should only be focused on educating our children while at work. I’m sure they do not want to work for ICE that is breaking up families all over America and leaving kids with no parents to pick them up from school or go home to. As a community advocate for our international and immigrant families over the years and most recently, I have actively campaigned/lobbied statewide against proposed legislation like SB6 and locally in support of "Sanctuary Cities". My coalition efforts and time as a Hispanic/Latino Coalition Board Member are proof that I will continue to support our immigrant families and do what I can to stop ICE from entering our schools. That’s the side of history I will always be on candidate or not.