A slate of political novices in Douglas County, Colorado, told Fox News that divisive school board politics and COVID-19 protocols prompted them to put their names on the ballot for next month’s school board elections.
“Never in my life did I think I would ever run for any office, to be quite honest,” first-time candidate Christy Williams said. “But I’m to that point where it’s time to stand up and take our school district back.”
In two weeks, as Douglas County residents head to the polls, three other candidates will join Williams on the Kids First slate: Mike Peterson, Becky Myers and Kaylee Winegar. Together, they seek to defeat the teacher federation-backed CommUnity Matters slate, which includes incumbent board members Krista Holtzmann and Kevin Leung and newcomers Ruby Martinez and Juli Watkins.
Like Williams, Winegar never imagined she would run for an elected position.
“Stepping forward and being a candidate and putting myself out there for an elected position is not something I ever thought I would do, but I had a lot of encouragement from friends, I did a lot of prayer,” Winegar, an accountant, told Fox News.
“It just felt like something that if I didn’t step forward, then who would, who would represent me up on the board if it’s not me?” she continued.
Peterson, a leadership consultant, told Fox News he chose to run because he felt a duty to help future students.
“I’ve never run for elective office, I didn’t want to run for elective office,” Peterson said. “I felt a calling because I think we need to get these rising generations of kids back on track, understanding that there absolutely is privilege in America and it’s the privilege to be an American.”
The Kids First slate told Fox News they want to keep politics out of the classroom and unite the community, something they say the sitting board has failed to do.
“This board, whether they intend to or not, is putting in incredibly divisive policies,” Peterson said. “They are putting parents against parents, parents against teachers.”
Winegar told Fox News: “I want to make sure when [my daughter] goes to school, she’s having her teachers focus on the basics of academics – math, reading, writing, science, history – and that’s not getting distracted with adult ideologies and personal politics in the classroom.”
The school board for Douglas County, a Denver suburb, unanimously passed an equity policy in March, which the district said “will ensure every DCSD student and staff member has access to equitable and rigorous educational opportunities” and aims to correct any inequities in the school district.
Though parents expressed concern to Fox News that the equity policy could open up the district to the teachings of critical race theory, the district stated on its website that critical race theory is not part of its curriculum.
Peterson and Williams also told Fox News that the district’s COVID-19 protocols factored into their decision to run.
“I was one of those COVID candidates,” Peterson said. “I started listening to board meetings, speaking at board meetings, attended board mee…