V. Deanne Ewers, Candidate for Palm Beach County School Board

V. Deanne Ewers
  1. What are your top three priorities if elected?

My priority as the district 6 School Board member is to review the school’s budget. In reviewing this budget, with the assistance of a financial advisor I would look at ways in which we can allocate some of those monies to raise teacher salaries for the 2022-23 school year. Another priority for me would be to include two additional workforce tracks, Administrative Assistant and Software Engineering within the District 6 high schools that would like to have them. The other priority is to implement Parent University in all District 6 schools. This will allow parents to assemble at schools the first week of each quarter. Parents can also attend these meetings through Google meet. The faculty will present the courses, extracurricular activities, and sports to the parents. Administration will explain what is expected from their children academically, and in behavior. Parents can ask questions, comments, and make suggestions to the administration that can be implemented into the school plans. These meetings are a way for parents and administration to communicate with each other.

2. Do you have a child attending a Palm Beach County PUBLIC school or have you in the past?

Yes, I do. Each year my students become my children, so yes, I do have kids attending Palm Beach County School District. And yes, I had two biological children who attended Palm Beach County schools and are now both graduates from Dreyfoos School of the Arts.

3. Do you think teachers deserve a pay increase? If yes, will you commit to teacher raises this year?

Of course, teachers deserve an increase in pay. There are seventy-six school districts in the state of Florida, and the pay for Palm Beach County teachers’ ranks at number five, while Palm Beach County ranks as the most expensive county to live in in the state of Florida. So, yes, I will vote for teacher pay increase.

4. Do you think code red drills are effective?

Yes, the code red drills have been effective. Having experienced these drills firsthand as a teacher I think they have kept us safe from incidents where firearms have been used near two of the schools where I taught at the time. However, I am not certain how effective the Code Red would be if an active shooter is on the physical campus. However, the upcoming panic buttons may be more promising because they can tell the location of the active shooter, giving the police an accurate location of the shooter, while allowing other areas to be evacuated and students, teachers, and staff escape to a safe zone.

5. Do you think teachers should be armed?

Absolutely not! The job of the teacher is to educate children, and the job of the police is to serve and protect us. We need to carefully distinguish both roles. The only reason a gun should be on campus is if it is in the hands of a trained police officer, and not an educator. There are too many negative scenarios that can happen if we arm teachers.

6. Do you think Critical Race Theory should be taught in our schools?  Why or why not?

First, Critical Race Theory is NOT taught in our schools. And before we asked about Critical race theory, we need to have a clear understanding of just what it is. In very unsophisticated terms, CRT is the idea that Black people who were once enslaved with chains, whipped, families separated, severely beaten, and mistreated by whites after 400 years of slavery are still enslaved, no longer by physical chains, but with the unconscienced bias whites have towards Blacks, which is clearly seen through the systemic injustice within the American judicial system, and inequality in the American society.  Africans Americans have a right to feel this way since after slavery unarmed Black men are still repeatedly killed by police officers who should serve and protect us. Black people are still being given longer prison sentences on their first offend than their white counterparts. Black people have been wrongly accused and sent to prison and now years later many of these cases are being overturned and exposed as wrongful imprisonment.

For many White people, CRT is removing books such as Ruby Bridges, Ann Frank, and books about Martin Luther King from schools when these books are based on historical facts. CRT is not scary, but to the ignorant it is and can come across as some form of indoctrination by Black people on White students. Instead, from an African American point of view, CRT is simply a way to show kids that racial bias still exists in America, while White people wish to deny it.

However, I do not think this style of history should be taught in the school system because the way in which it is presented may prove uncomfortable for other races. I believe that education should bring us together and not divide us.

7. Do you support Moms for Liberty?

According to the Moms for Liberty website their goal is to, “organize, educate and empower parents to defend their parental rights at all levels of government.” If this is so, and if there are no hidden agendas then I support this organization.

8. What do you think about Florida’s Don’t Say Gay law?

This law is called the Parental Rights in Education law and not the Don’t Say Gay law. The news media has spun this law in a negative way. Yes, I agree with this law, because parents get the right to do what they should be doing as parents and that is guiding their children into decisions about their sexuality and gender identity.

9. Briefly, tell us about your experience. Have you ever taught in a public school? Volunteered?

Yes, I have taught in the public school system for twenty years. I am an experienced teacher. I am not someone looking outside in, or simply volunteering, or going from school-to-school policing books, but I am on the inside doing the work. I am interacting with parents, I am instructing students, and listening to them, and I am collaborating with other teachers.

10. Do you think public schools should receive more funding?

Yes, I believe that our public schools should receive more funding. There is a need for new schools, maintenance of existing schools, salary increases, improvement in technology, and so much more.