Readers’ comments: June 16, 2023
Peterson’s message is disappointing
I am a Claremont parent with two children who graduated from Claremont schools and six grandchildren attending Claremont schools.
Board of education candidate Aaron Peterson posted a meme on Twitter positioning the LGBTQ+ flag alongside the American flag, asking “Which one of these flags is more #inclusive then [SIC] the other?”
This is a disappointing message from a school board candidate. He is using false narratives and employing tactics that legitimize hateful messages about underrepresented communities.
To see what happens when people claim they represent “all students” but are against the visibility of some (gay and trans children and/or families), intentionally sharing misinformation to make their case against everyone who doesn’t look/live like them, see our neighboring Chino Valley school board on YouTube, youtube.com/@chinovalleyunifiedschooldi9421.
Mr. Peterson lost in the last school board election. He then interviewed to fill a vacant school board position and was not appointed. I am pleased the board didn’t appoint someone who lost the election “of the people.”
While campaigning for local (not governmental) control, he refused to recognize the CUSD board as representatives of “the people” when they did not reappoint him. Ironically, Mr. Peterson was not elected by the very people he claims he wants to represent.
Last year Mr. Peterson told the Courier, “… I hope we set you up properly for success in a global economy. Because we’re competing against literally the best in the world, not just ourselves anymore.”
It’s difficult to be “globally competitive” while erasing everything you disagree with. Students need opportunities to expand their knowledge, learn to communicate, think, and work across differences in order to “compete against literally the best in the world, not just ourselves anymore.”
I was taught to watch peoples’ actions and not to be distracted by their words. Mr. Peterson’s actions simply do not align with his stated school board agenda.
Vote McDonald for CUSD Board of Education
I first met Alex McDonald eight years ago when he was shopping in my Village business for an anniversary gift for his wife. As so often happens, I get the treat of hearing peoples’ stories. Alex shared that he was looking for a home in Claremont so that his kids could attend Claremont schools. Through the years, our friendship and my respect for Alex have grown, and I’m proud to support his run for the District 4 seat on Claremont’s board of education.
Alex will be exceptional for many reasons. As a physician, his expertise in physical and mental health will be invaluable to board members, teachers and administrators as students regain their footing after Covid. His professional experience on medical boards also gives Alex ample practice collaborating with others in a complex system so that he may help the district deliver a high-quality education for all students. And Alex has built strong relationships throughout our community that will help provide impactful and positive leadership on the school board.
For all of his qualifications and expertise, the main reason I support Alex is that he is a kind and humble listener. He is intent on learning from students, teachers, and parents as he works to help CUSD deliver the best student experience possible.
What I value most about living and working in Claremont is how so many committed people step forward to make our community the vibrant and special place it is. We are fortunate to have Alex as one of them.
Electing Alex McDonald will add to the school board a capable and kind leader, ready to listen, serve, and build upon the proud tradition of excellence in Claremont schools.
Vote McDonald for CUSD Board of Education
As the mother of five Black children in Claremont’s schools, I’ve done my research for the July 25 special election in District 4, and I’m writing to express my wholehearted support for Dr. Alex McDonald for CUSD Board of Education. He is a leader who possesses the vision, dedication, and compassion our community needs.
One aspect that distinguishes Dr. Alex from the other candidates is his unwavering commitment to inclusivity and diversity. He believes in fostering an environment where every voice is heard, and every individual is valued. His empathy and open-mindedness have consistently translated into concrete actions that empower marginalized groups and foster a sense of belonging.
When I heard Aaron Peterson, another candidate for school board, speak at the Active Claremont forum about how the effort to achieve diversity, equity and inclusion is not needed in the classroom, and that equality actually means preferential treatment, I had to speak out. As I’ve watched school boards in our own backyard — Chino Valley to be specific — get flipped by groups with similar extremist views, I will do all I can to make sure that doesn’t happen in Claremont. We are an inclusive community that values all of our community members. Peterson does not share that value.
Dr. Alex’s ability to bring people together, encouraging collaboration, is unifying. His strong communication skills and belief in a transparent decision-making process inspires trust and confidence, fostering a sense of ownership among community members.
It is with great enthusiasm that I endorse Dr. Alex McDonald as an exemplary leader for our community. I am confident that with his leadership on the school board, our community will thrive and prosper, ensuring a better future for all.
If you live in District 4, get out and vote!