Photo Courtesy of Wayne Hartmann
Disclaimer: This candidate declined an interview but gave his express permission to treat his email as quotable material. These are his exact words emailed to us, with no edits whatsoever.
“Hello Miss Katie,
I was planning on sending you an email tomorrow but I see you have sent me another, so I thought that I would go ahead and respond today. I want to make it very clear here that just because you had sent a second email, in no way did that entice me to reply. Having said that, I see that you said that you are a sophomore in high school and a staff writer for your school paper. I think that is very cool. I hope that going forward that you are going to see and realize that what you are trying to do will be very difficult at times, but I would hope that the walls that you will inevitably run into will not discourage you in any way. Your determination will only make you a better writer and or reporter. God knows that today this country needs some honest reporting. That is where things can get more difficult. If you can stay true to the story then there is a chance that the future of media can turn the corner and begin to be trusted again. Right now it is not.
Since I have put my name in the hat so to speak for a school board seat, I have received a lot of people and or organizations asking questions about anything and everything, but nothing about, “WHAT DO YOU WANT TO DO TO MAKE THINGS BETTER FOR THE STUDENT AT PARKWAY SCHOOLS?” I could not believe that this is not their priority. It seems to me that what these different organizations want to know is what can you do to make things better for their organizations. If I am wrong about that then maybe their wording needs to change. I will not answer any questions that are not going to be related to making things better for ALL the students in Parkway schools, period.
A bit about myself, I umpired baseball for 29 years. That range went from 5-year-old T-ball thru 18 years old seniors in high school. I coached 7th and 8th grades, both boys and girls in basketball, for 9 years. Was an instructor for self-defense in the martial arts for 10 years, 8-year-olds thru adults. That when they say that we want to make it better for the NEXT GENERATION, the next generation which is my kids, now have kids of their own. So for me it’s not about the next generation, I am in this fight now for what I call THE FUTURE OF THIS COUNTRY, and that means that I am fighting for you and your classmates. For you are this country’s future. It is now do or die. I am a product of “THE GREATEST GENERATION”, that means old school. A board member said at the last meeting that they keep politics out of this. After the White House Administration has deemed PARENTS as DOMESTIC TERRORIST, everything is now political. They need to stop lying to themselves and their parents. I have been going to these board meetings for quite some time now and I have not liked what I have seen. I believe that things are deliberately being left out of conversations, things being twisted, they keep saying that they are being transparent when that is the farthest thing from the truth and things are trying to be led down a path of which there was no need to go down. I will give just 1 example: THAT “SRO’S” WERE TREATING BLACK STUDENTS WORSE THAN WHITE STUDENTS. I have 23 letters that speak to differ from what they tried to imply. Letters from students, teachers, social workers, Special Ed teachers, math department teachers, school counselors, and I could go on.
Let me just say that the more that I had interacted with said board through email and then would reply, the angrier their return emails would get. See, I believe that they are used to having had to only send out 1 email and that should be enough. But until ALL my inquiries were answered I would keep writing back and it would only get worse. So I thought, well why would one get angry at someone asking questions if one had nothing to hide?
Maybe sometime we could sit down and go over these and you will get a better picture of what I am speaking of. I want you to feel free to use anything that I put in this email if it will work for your paper. Also, being you still have 2 years of high school to be writing in the school paper, if I would happen to win a seat on that board I have an idea for you. If I am elected, I would be willing to sit down and have a conversation with you each month for your paper, you could call it, “Inside Parkway” or “What’s happening at Parkway”. As a writer, I’m sure that you could come up with something. Everyone would be waiting for your next paper to come out to see just what you would be saying next. As I have attended these meetings I have spoken with a number of parents before and after meetings. Those were good conversations. One of my plans is to go through each and every school speaking with some teachers, administration, SROs, etc. I just want to be up on all of what is happening. Then the ideas can begin to flow.”