New Ulm School Board – Michael Thom
Why are you running for election to this position?
The children of our community are the foundation of our future. Every member of our community has a vested interest in seeing that they become productive adults who love their country and are able to do their best for the good of society. I believe that I can be a voice for a segment of parents in our school district who are currently not represented on our school board.
What is the top issue facing Independent School District 88?
The main question before the voters is this: Will we allow our schools to become indoctrination centers that train our children to think like socialists, or will we stop the indoctrination and return to training our children for productive lives in the real world?
The current school board has introduced a strategic vision that opens the door to divisive teachings on race relations and sexual orientation/ gender identity. The current board has introduced programs of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. When those programs are introduced into a system of competing worldviews, they invariably result in silencing and excluding anyone who does not agree with the “woke” social agenda.
We need to get back to the simple goal of Excellence in Education. That means hiring the best teachers we can hire without regard to their age, sex, or color. It means making sure our children excel in the basics. It means working with parents and not against them.
What is your primary goal if elected to the school board?
My primary goal will be to redirect the strategic goal and mission of our schools toward Excellence in Education. Our focus should not be on identity groups and making sure that certain identity groups are given enough power and representation. Our focus should be on providing our children with an excellent education in the basics so that they are well equipped to pursue whatever goals they may set for their adult life.
Do you support the operating levy renewal referendum?
The school board has chosen to propose a levy that includes an automatic annual increase for inflation. Under this levy, taxpayers may face a levy increase of anywhere between 5-10% or more every year. I believe that when the taxpayers are suffering the hardships that inflation brings, our schools should not be exempt from the belt-tightening that is needed. Since the inflation forecast for future years looks rather grim at this point, I believe that this referendum should be rejected and replaced by one that recognizes that we’re all in this together.
Why or why not should the board be providing information in the schools on U.S. history of race relations?
The question is not whether the history of race relations will be taught in our schools. The question is: From what perspective will it be taught? Will it be taught from a pro-American perspective that sees the great strides forward that this country has made in treating all races equally before the law? Or will it be taught from the anti-American perspective of the critical race theorists, who want to teach our children that America has always been and still is a racist country – a country that deserves to be fundamentally transformed into something different?
I am in favor of teaching the truth about racism in America – not glossing over the evils of the past, but not ignoring the great improvements that have been made. I am against any teaching of U.S. history that would serve to further divide the races or condemn any race for the sins of its ancestors.
Why or why not should the board be providing information in the schools on gender/sexual identity?
Here we must carefully distinguish between instruction about human reproduction and instruction on sexual orientation/gender identity. While there is a general public consensus that instruction about reproduction is appropriate at a certain age, there is no such consensus on instruction about sexual orientation and gender identity. The public is sharply divided on this latter topic.
Since experience shows that teaching about sexual orientation and gender identity cannot be carried out in a manner that does not promote a certain worldview and social agenda, the board should leave this instruction to each child’s parents. Textbooks and literature which attempt to bring the subject matter into classroom discussion directly or indirectly in non-related subjects such as math and literature should not be used.
What else would you like to address regarding this election and the position?
In years past, we could safely assume that it didn’t make much difference whom we elected to our school boards. No matter who was elected, our children would receive a good education and everything would continue pretty much the same.
Those days are over. Today there are two completely opposite views of what our children should be taught in school. Those two views of our children’s education lead to two completely different futures for our children and for our country. It is critical that we choose the right view. Tomorrow’s blessings depend on today’s decisions. Voters need to choose wisely.