My last written recommendation for this election goes to Dax Choksi who is running for Fremont City Council. This is based on his answers to the questionnaire I sent to him. The Fremont School Board was mired in controversy earlier this year after they approved a sex education textbook that was too graphic for some puritanical parents, though it had the overwhelming support of health education teachers. The Board voted to go back and use the previous textbook, which contained inaccurate information.
Dax is an involved parent in Fremont schools and a man with common sense.
1) What do you think is the biggest challenge facing your School District and how would you tackle it?
The following are the biggest challenges for the Fremont Unified School District:
* Facilities – our facilities are in dire need of repair and upgrade. In several schools the infrastructure is not adequate to provide an environment where students can thrive and receive education effectively. In addition to this, we have schools with huge waiting lists and this problem is persisting.
* Overcrowding – the class sizes are under pressure. This is not going to be an easy problem to solve but I would work to constantly strive to reduce the class sizes.
* Technology – We need to work to bring Fremont schools to the 21st century. Thy are currently lacking in several technology areas including computers, desktops and communication devices.
* Academics – We need to work on successful implementation of common core and ensure that there is equity in education.
2) Do you believe there are systemic problems with racial/sexual/gender-based or other discrimination in your district’s schools? How would you tackle them?
* I do not believe that there is a systemic problem with racial/sexual/gender discrimination. However, the problem could exist without a lot of people knowing about it. We need to take steps to ensure that this is prevented proactively:
* I would prevent this by continuing to enforce the existing regulations prohibiting discrimination and recommend disciplinary action against any person who is found to be violating the regulation.
* I would also seek to educate the youth about the negative impact of discrimination and how it could create a severe blow to the self-confidence of the victim of this injustice.
3) Do you support school dress codes? Specify.
We live in a democratic country thereby providing the right to people to dress as they please. However, there are certain guidelines essential in a school environment to ensure that there is no provocative dressing and the that the dressing adheres to a certain common decorum. There are existing dress code guidelines in FUSD and I would ensure that the guidelines are enforced in all the schools without exceptions.
4) What’s your position on the controversy over the health education books thought to be too risque by some?
I am strongly in favor of the textbook. I believe our first and foremost responsibility is to protect our youth. We can only do so by educating them. If we don’t educate them, we are leaving them ignorant and vulnerable to getting false/erroneous information from secondary unreliable sources. In the interest of the well being of our youth, I strongly support the book.
5) Do you believe religious texts, practices or songs should be part of the school’s curricula? If yes, please specify how.
No. Religion has no place in the school curricula. I believe in separation of church and state
See also: David Bonaccorsi & Raj Salwan best Choices for City Council
See Marga’s 2014 Voter Guide for recommendations on propositions and other local endorsements.