I support the continued election of our superintendent. The right to vote is a sacred responsibility, and I don’t want to lose my voice in such an important decision. I have appreciated the opportunity to meet candidates, ask them questions, and hear them in a forum with their opponent. They are from our county and are already involved in our school system. They know the culture of this area, which is very important. There are many people in the county who know them personally, as opposed to a total stranger from another area of the U.S. that we know absolutely nothing about.

The Okaloosa County School District has been graded as an “A” District continuously and is #3 in the state. This is something to be really proud of, something that happened with an “elected” superintendent and an elected school board. Why would we want to make a change? What makes anyone think that an “appointed” superintendent could do better?

Costs are also of concern. Electing a superintendent doesn’t create new costs. However, the process of appointing a superintendent is expensive. Some of the many costs involve putting a referendum on the ballot, hiring consultants, advertising, moving expenses, a greater salary package, which includes separation/severance package/buy-out clauses, etc.

I also have great concern of the ideology an outsider might bring to this area. I have read of schools who stopped saying our Pledge of Allegiance because of the words “under God” or because someone decided our flag was “offensive.” Explicit sex education has been presented in schools to kindergarten and elementary children. Teachers are being fired and students are being punished for using the wrong politically correct gender or pronoun. Students are upset and in emotional stress in schools where they lost the privacy and safety of their school restrooms, locker rooms, and showers because school officials allow boys who identify as girls into the girls’ private areas and vice versa.

A male P.E. middle school teacher in Florida has been threatened with discipline because he doesn’t want to be put in the position of seeing the female student who identifies as a male in the boy’s shower or dressing room partially disrobed or nude. The boys were upset about this student being in their private space and so were parents!

An elementary male teacher in Wisconsin made a video of himself “coming out” as a non-binary transgender, dressed as a female, which was shown to every kindergarten-fifth grade student in the school. He said somedays he’s female, male, both genders or neither gender. He told students to call him Mix Steele and to address him with the pronouns they, them, or their. Although we can have compassion for this gender confused teacher, this indoctrination of precious impressionable children is extremely concerning.

Protect our children from unwanted indoctrination, and don’t give up the privilege to vote for school superintendent!

Diana Gilbert,