Apply my expertise to introduce a stronger focus on child protection and parent education, especially empowering students to stay safe online. I have been working with youth, educators, and parents for two decades to help children and youth stay safe online from commercial sexual exploitation and other forms of abuse. I will do more to equip families, students, and schools to know how to use the internet in a safe and healthy way and ensure FSD equipment does not contribute to the vulnerability of our students.
I will also prioritize the safety and well-being of our students and staff through undertaking an audit of every campus and dedicate funding to ensure our campuses are safe and secure and FSD is promoting gun safety and mental health awareness within the community to prevent mass violence.
Ensure that our ongoing work to listen and implement diversity, equity, and inclusion has impact and is transformative, in ways that are meaningful and helpful for students, families, and our schools. As someone who has worked with youth advocates around the globe and our community, I know the importance of equipping students with the knowledge, skills and life experiences to recognize injustice, and speak up for change. I will also dedicate resources, attention, and care where students are not thriving and bring together the rich resources of our community, including our non-profits, government agencies, and business and faith communities, to ensure FSD provides an excellent education for every child.
Ongoing prioritization and expansion of mental health support to meet the needs of our students, teachers, and staff. Our nation is facing a growing mental health crises, that was exacerbated by the Covid-19 pandemic. As someone who has worked with trauma survivors, I know children cannot learn when they are locked in a stress response and they need the tools to talk about their emotions, learn self-regulation, and coping skills to help them perform academically, as well as live fulfilled lives. Our Second Step SEL curricula and additional mental health support has been a positive effort, but we need to go further and provide more mental health professionals at every school site to meet the demand of students and staff and take the burden off teachers to act as therapists and disciplinarians.
As a child participation and youth empowerment expert, I want to strengthen our student voice and input in all our decision making to better understand our challenges and empower children as partners in the solutions, and to ensure more equity and impact for students. We also need to listen to our diverse families and FSD employees. I want to honor and care for the great asset of our teachers and staff, recognizing that what they have been through affects how they show up, and ensure they are supported to give of themselves and love our children well.