Highland Park ISD School Board Candidates Aim for Transparency and Acceptance

HIGHLAND PARK -- In some ways the Highland Park school board election campaign for two open seats has almost become a game of "Can you top this?"One candidate garnered attention as a high school senior when he attained the Boy Scouts highest rank of Eagle Scout. Another candidate gained notoriety when she tried to remove a book about poverty from the district's high school English reading list. And a third has bounced back from a near death experience to now challenge for a seat on the board. Those three plus two other candidates -- all of them parents of current Highland Park ISD students -- say they want the same thing: an opportunity to increase transparency, communication and unity on the Highland Park ISD board. Election Day is May 6.Place 6In Place 6, Meg Bakich, who in 2015 unsuccessfully sought to ban The Working Poor: Invisible in America, is running against retired Air force lieutenant colonel, Stacy Kelly, and medical salesman, Chris Murzin. The winner would replace Joseph G. Taylor, who decided not to seek re-election after serving three terms.Bakich, 46, drew widespread criticism in 2015 when she fought to have the HPISD school board remove The Working Poor from a high school reading list. She filed a complaint and said she objected to the book's depiction of abortion and sexual abuse and its portrayal of women, but later withdrew the complaint and said the school district committee chosen to review the book was "unbalanced" and would not fairly review it. Bakich said at the time that she didn't believe that high school students should have to deal with social issues in an English class and that if they did read about poverty, that they should read about how poverty here compares to that in Marxist or Socialist countries. But now, Bakich said that if elected she would would focus her energy on three areas; preserving Highland Park ISD's traditions, protecting its independence and advance its academic excellence that has served its students "so well for the past 100 years.""Highland Park has unique strengths and abilities we must use to address our challenges and not just adopt the same vision of every other district dictated by the Texas Association of School Administrators and the Texas Association of School Boards," she said in an email."I will encourage the district to regain autonomy by removing itself from being a part of a consortium, group think, which would be the beginning of disentangling from TASA and TASB."  Continue reading...

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