A few insights

I announced on Facebook yesterday that I was running for a seat on the Richland 2 School Board and I received many questions.  I will share a few thoughts that I hope will answer some of these questions.

First off, I speak for myself.  Opinions expressed by others in the comments are their opinions.  My silence neither condones nor condemns their views.  I believe everyone has a right to their opinions and I will rarely disagree or delete a comment made on a post I control.  I feel strongly in hearing every voice, even the ones I disagree with.  I appreciate learning and when I make a mistake, I appreciate being corrected.  I am not afraid to say “I don’t know” or “I was wrong”.

At this time, my platform is transparency and to represent the community to improve our schools.   I am currently absorbing information and forming opinions.  There are things I feel need to change and there are things that I know are important.  As opportunities present themselves I will voice my opinion and I may change my mind from time to time.  I believe our priorities change with time and I believe we all have the opportunity to change each day.  I’m not the same person I was yesterday much less the same person I was a year ago.  I hope I am wiser every day.

School safety is very important.  Weapons like guns have no place in our school but that is only part of the problem.  I have talked with many students that don’t use the restrooms at school because they feel unsafe in them.  I don’t have the answer, but I know we have to find a solution and I know it will involve all of us.  I believe it starts with helping students understand they have value and helping them gain self-respect.

The School Board is no place for politics.  I am appalled at how some board members dismiss the concerns of others.  I can’t understand how a board member can make a motion to discuss something at an upcoming meeting only to have four other members vote the motion down.  Are these members afraid to talk about public concerns?  The rubber stamping of the Superintendent’s plans is disappointing.    

Lastly, am I an expert board member or a representative board member? I believe I am both.  I plan to bring any expertise I have to the board.   I will share my life’s experiences as the opportunities arise.  I also plan to truly represent the community.  I am one man with only one life time of experiences to draw on.  But there are thousands of other people concerned about the welfare of our children and I want to draw on this pool of wisdom to make decisions about our school district.

I consider it an honor to serve the community.  It’s also a tremendous responsibility and I don’t take that lightly.  The support I have received is much appreciated.


 Joe Trapp