Masks? Sex education? Where are the candidates for the Mukilteo school board?

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MUKILTEO – Two seats are open on the Mukilteo School District Board of Directors, and the result could unveil a new dynamic.

This is the first election for three of the four candidates.

One candidate for each seat believes COVID-19 masks and vaccines should belong to the parent or teacher. These two contenders operate on a “back to basics” platform. One wants to eliminate sex education from the school curriculum.

Their opponents advocate compliance with public health directives.

The district encompasses Mukilteo, parts of southern Everett and unincorporated parts of Snohomish County.

Candidates were asked about the challenges, the pandemic and what they would add or take away from the school curriculum.

Responses come from emails and phone calls.

Ward 2

This is the first run for any office for Peter Swardstrom, District Manager for Heilind, a global distributor of electronics. Her two children are students in the neighborhood. In the past he volunteered as a youth sports coach as a leader of Young Life.

Judy Schwab was first elected to the Board of Directors in 1997 and served six consecutive four-year terms.

“Public education is a lifelong passion,” she said.

She has a background in education and raised a son in the district.

“I feel like I have 14,000 children in the district,” Schwab said. “I go to a lot of school events, games, everything. It’s not just about being seen, it’s about building trust and engaging with children and families and finding out what works and what challenges they might face.

Judy Schwab (left) and Peter Swardstrom.

Regarding the masks and vaccines mandates, Schwab replied, “I support masks for staff and students, and vaccines for staff allowing medical and religious exemptions. I hope that there will soon be safe vaccines for all students and that they will support the same accommodations as the staff. ”

Swardstrom wrote, “I am neither pro nor anti-mask and vaccine. I think both should be a choice left to teachers / staff to decide for themselves and parents for their children.

As for students who fell behind during the pandemic, Schwab said state test scores, along with classroom assessments, will give schools the data they need to determine which groups or people have need support.

“Each building will work to determine the root causes and design interventions for our children,” she wrote. “We are also committed to addressing social and emotional issues that can create barriers to academic success by providing access to resources and support to students and staff. ”

“If I could wave a magic wand, I would wish for a universal preschool for all of our students,” she added. “We want all of our children to come to school ready and eager to learn.”

Swardstrom said he was in favor of the “back to basics education.”

“The basic method of teaching math, not the common basic method. Go back to teaching American history and remove the filter of prejudice and the political agenda, ”he said. “We have to teach our children how to think, not what to think. ”

He wrote: “Half of the students do not have proficiency in math, science, reading comprehension and over 13% do not have a degree. ”

“We should encourage the use of existing learning resources and add additional learning resources before, during and after school so that children can receive instruction in subjects in which they might fall behind,” said he continued. “We should also make the lessons and the program available / recorded for the parents so that they can also help the child at home.”

Ward 4

Jayme Lee Vail is a long-term care worker in the assisted living and dementia care field. She has two daughters in the school district and has served on the PTA board of directors and as a volunteer.

“I will help recognize and work towards equity for every student in the district,” she wrote.

“I think we should follow the science and the data with our local health departments and national and local authorities. We all want to get out of COVID, but we need to work together and follow the science and the guidelines. ”

When asked how to ensure that children who fell behind in the pandemic catch up, she replied: “Every student will need to be assessed to know where they are both academically and emotionally. . I think adding resources and additional support is critical at this time. Use additional government funding to ensure our children get all the support they need. ”

As for the curriculum, “I would like to see more work on diversity, equity and inclusion taught to students. I think it reduces bullying if students learn to respectfully disagree and understand each other, ”she wrote.

Charles Hauck (left) and Jayme Lee Vail.

Charles Hauck (left) and Jayme Lee Vail.

Opponent Charles Hauck, a real estate broker, has grandchildren in the neighborhood.

He said masks and vaccines for students and teachers should be the choice of the parent or the individual.

“I don’t think this is something that should be mandated by the authorities,” he said. “Students and parents can determine their choices. Teachers are adults and are responsible for their own decisions. It is not for the school district or the government to make these decisions.

He said this applies to all required vaccinations, such as the MMR vaccine to protect against measles, mumps and rubella.

Hauck said he had not received a COVID vaccine.

“I’m not getting a flu shot either,” he said. “I take care of myself.”

He said the academic challenge is “to increase the mastery rate in math, science and reading comprehension” and increase the graduation rate.

“I will take away critical race theory, sex education, basic math, and go back to the proven method,” Hauck said.

“I don’t want a teacher to teach my kids sex education,” Hauck said. “It’s my responsibility. Not a teacher. The school must teach them how to be competitive in the global market. It is not their responsibility to teach them about sex. I didn’t learn sex at school and everything went well.

Andrea Brown: [email protected]; 425-339-3443. Twitter @reporterbrown.

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