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Bend-La Pine School Board Candidates Discuss Student Safety At Forum

BEND, OR -- Candidates running for Bend-La Pine School Board zones 3 and 5 took part in a virtual forum this week.

The candidates explained why they’re running.  Zone 3’s Cameron Fischer, an educator said “…Having multiple lenses to bring to the table I think can be really powerful at the board level.”

“I’ve seen our current education system, the good and the bad, and hopefully I can bring a different look to it,” said Christopher Strengberg, an operations manager.

Zone 5 incumbent Amy Tatom, a nurse says “The work of our school board needs to be focused on our students and their outcomes, not only in education but also mental health.”

Challenger Sherrie Grieef, a retired health worker said, “I believe in a really strong basic foundation at an early age, and also believe in parental rights.”

The candidates were asked what role the school board has in ensuring student safety.

Fischer wants to increase relationships with School Resource Officers, “So students and families and educators feel safe not only physically but emotionally.” Strengberg wants to develop another tool, “I’d love to see more training on ‘see something wrong, report it’ get an adult involved.” Tatom hopes to focus on mental health and self-harm, “Ultimately when we’re seeing mass shootings, it is a form of suicide. And I think working on that as a school board and a district is something we can do.” Grieef thinks more staffing and technology will help, “I would like to see more School Resource Officers, single entry points, cameras…I realize it does all cost money.”

The candidates all agree on the need to focus on careers in technical education, student and family engagement, and teacher retention.

Ballots have already been mailed out for the May 16th election.


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