Springfield Board of Education candidates seek to address violence, academics, indoctrination in schools

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – A grassroots group fighting to get Springfield Public Schools back on track academically and ideologically has endorsed a slate of candidates it has confidence will help do that.

“Back on Track” has endorsed incumbent Dr. Maryam Mohammadkhani and newcomers Landon McCarter and Dr. Chad Rollins.

There are seven candidates vying for three available seats on the seven-member board in the April 2 election.

“They are the only three like-minded candidates with the courage and conviction and common sense to turn things around,” says Dianne Ely, founder of Back on Track America PAC. “They are the only three candidates who are willing to say we have some huge problems and we can’t keep doing what we’re doing. These are the only three candidates with the courage and the conviction to go against the status quo.

“The other candidates very much support the current administration and all that they’re doing.”

Missourians for Transparency, a separate PAC to inform Springfield voters, but which does not endorse particular candidates, has links on its website to articles on all the candidates; several slates of other organizations’ endorsements; and a list of the school board election’s most pressing issues:

  • Student Outcomes
  • Violence in the Schools
  • Indoctrination in the Classroom

It’s just such concerns that have led current board member Steve Makoski to endorse the same three candidates – saying they have a good grasp of the need to reduce the distractions and dangers from radical gender ideologies, cell phones and discipline in the classroom, and the need to balance technology and textbooks.

Such impositions on class time, he says, “interfere with what we’re there to do, and that’s to provide an education to our students.” He also says sex and gender indoctrination can actually cause discipline problems, and that gender transition ideology encourages students to “make some life choices which they are not equipped to make, not prepared to make fully.”

Allen Icet, founder and treasurer of Missourians for Transparency, cites an assault on a girl at Hickory Hills Middle School Jan. 17 that put her in the hospital and three teens in juvenile detention. The girl’s father said she was facing possible plastic surgery and permanent eye injury.

Also that month there was a fight in the lunchroom at Parkview High School that, one student said, “got bad enough to where they had to call every teacher to go help.”

Last December, the Springfield National Education Association staged a protest at district headquarters over student discipline problems, with President Laura Mullins claiming teachers and staff feel “broken, discouraged and frustrated.”

Springfield NEA has even joined in endorsing two of the three candidates above, Maryam Mohammadkhani and Landon McCarter.

Back on Track has a voter’s guide with the questions it asked all seven candidates – such as whether they agree with “SPS’s current practice of not removing violent students from the classroom.”

The group also asked the candidates whether:

  • They believe SPS academic achievement is on the right track
  • They support boys in girls’ sports and locker rooms/bathrooms
  • They support teaching students they can choose their own gender
  • They believe students should be segregated by race for any learning experience

Mohammadkhani, McCarter and Rollins all answered no to each question. The other candidates either didn’t respond at all or didn’t definitively answer the questions, the group reports.

Says the Missourians for Transparency website:

“Springfield R-12 is the largest public school district in the State of Missouri; with falling academics and rising violence in the classrooms, it’s critical that our schools focus on what is most important to the future of these students and our society at large.”


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