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Vote to Protect Public Education

By now many know Glendale has been targeted in what is a nationally coordinated attack on public education. Local agitators are following scripts and attracting the attention of regional and national extremists in order to intimidate school board members, teachers, administrators, parents, and most frighteningly of all, students.
The goal is to dismantle public education as we know it. When schools are destabilized, crime rises. Please look at what has happened in Chino Valley over the past two years and how the community is suffering from extremists on their school board.
My kids attend several different school sites in the Glendale Unified School District. Each school is a community hub — little ecosystems that represent and serve parts of our city. Over our years in GUSD, I’ve actually contacted board members with questions, voiced concerns, even sought guidance, and I’ve gotten it! I also received great support from Student Services at GUSD and I’ve been so impressed with the caring district administrators I’ve met.
We need to maintain a strong school board that is invested in our city, that understands how our schools work, and how they can work better. School board candidates like Telly Tse in Area A and Neda Farid in Area E each have established legacies of community involvement and trust. We couldn’t ask for better candidates to secure what is already a very dedicated school board.
I don’t believe people should only listen to their neighbors when they hear wild stories about “things happening in schools.” Please understand that larger forces in this country are speaking through local voices and are incentivized to make you believe the worst, to weaponize a person’s fear of the unknown. Maybe there’s no way for my letter to reach those who are willfully ingesting falsehoods and fear, so my letter is for you, the person reading this right now. You can use your vote to protect public schools and our local democracy. It really does matter, more than ever, to vote in local elections. It truly impacts you too. Stronger schools equal safe, thriving communities.
Glendale Parents for Public Schools has emerged in our district as a great resource for more information on what is happening and what to do about it. Please start by using your vote to protect our kids, equal access to public education, and our city.

Melissa O’Neill

First published in the February 3 print issue of the Glendale News-Press.

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