28 Apr Sean Hastings
Nye School Board Trustee Area V
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Please share briefly what inspired you to run for this office and why you feel you’re qualified for the position.
I am currently serving as the incumbent Trustee for the Nye County School District in Area V and am running for re-election. I love it! I love serving in this capacity. I was first inspired to run for this position as a way for me to be able to give back to my community and in being able to provide a fresh and clear voice of reason to our county school district matters. I love being able to help steer our school district towards ever improvement through action and with integrity.
I have fought to keep our schools safe for our children. I have fought to keep CRT and other forms of non-sensical curriculum out of our school district as it is pressed upon us from the state and other outsider forces. I have worked closely with our school district superintendent to continue fighting for what's best for our school children so that they can receive the best education possible that they are entitled to. I have worked hard to ensure that our school district budget is kept in check when it comes to frivolous spending and other budgetary concerns.
I closely listen to my constituents and their concerns and I always respond to them in kind. We have so many great teachers and administrators that work hard in their jobs and are truly great at what they do. I will always support them in their efforts of promoting literacy to our children through the many different forms and way of which they do as they fight daily to give these children a great education.
If re-elected, I promise to continue fighting and working hard to garner the best results possible for our children.
How do you propose that more funding be allocated to public education?
Our state's current school district funding allocations are terrible. The ideals and funding rules for which school district receives what money are extremely complex, nobody understands them, and they are antiquated. They just don't work. We no longer receive direct proceeds from mines as we did before (This tremendously helped the Nye County School District). None of the school districts within our state receive marijuana tax proceeds as was promised by our state legislators, and as we were all fooled to believe and vote on. We hardly receive any monies from School Trust Lands as other school districts do in many other states (look this up, you'll be blown away). We also never see a penny of the tax revenue generated from our annual property tax. All of this tax and revenue money goes directly to the state's general fund and is then dispensed out. How do they decide which county gets what money, fairly? Nobody knows.
The funding allocations are unfair and do not equitably reflect the true needs of our state's various school districts; especially Nye county's. I, alone, can do nothing to fix this except to provide a voice of opposition to our current circumstance. We all need to pitch in and raise our voices of dissatisfaction in our current state of desperate need.
We need strong and honest leaders at the head of our state's education board along with certain legislators, and of course a mindful governor, who will serious look into making the necessary changes that will allow for more funding to go to our various school districts, especially for Nye County. The sooner this happens, of course, the better.
Parents are frustrated with the performance of public schools, its apparent nonresponsiveness to the community, and its current poor performance with student outcomes. What are your thoughts on how we can support public education and change this situation?
I get it. I'm just as frustrated as the next person, if not more. When I see that the great State of Nevada is last in the nation in education and outcomes, according to some polls, and that Nye County is considered to be the last in the state. That puts our school district directly on the bottom. This is deeply troubling. We have an emergency situation here!
In all honesty, as a lone school board trustee, I can do nothing to help with this desperate problem. What I can do and promise is to continue working hard, with my fellow board members, towards voting on items that provide a clear path forward, hiring well-qualified leaders to best guide our district and who sometimes push us along, and by providing real solutions (not more questions or problems) that will immediately help our dire situations. I firmly believe and know that I am doing this now, and will continue to do so if re-elected.
How would you propose changing the current funding formula to make it more equitable for children from poverty, English Language Learners and special education students?
This is also a current and desperate need of ours. Again, the state's funding allocations are antiquated and unfair. They mainly help two of our state's largest populous counties, Clark and Washoe, but neglect the others. The funding matrix needs to be changed now.
As a trustee, I can do nothing about this. It has to happen at the head of our state. The citizens of our communities need to raise their voices of frustration towards the governor, the state board of education and with our state legislators, just as I do, and have done.
Talk to your local state assembly and senate leaders. Share with them your frustrations. Let them know that you are tired of paying taxes that do not directly help or affect our children's education.
There is a rise of bullying and racism in our schools. If elected, what steps would you make to ensure that our children can safely attend school?
This is a great problem that has risen across the nation with thanks in-part due to the influences that come from social media. This doesn't just come from social medial alone though. It also starts from within our own homes as well as the attitudes and ideals that we, as adults, reflect upon our susceptible children. Change needs to first happen within the walls of our own homes and then outward.
One of my top priorities as a trustee is school safety and security. I am constantly looking for and proposing ways to improve in these areas. We have seen a rise in some of these things within our very own schools. I have asked for, along with my fellow trustees, monthly safety and security briefings about our schools, and the current or pending problems that we are facing. From those briefings, I have been able to learn and then help provide reasonable proposals on ways for safety and security improvements.
Our school district has already seen great improvements, within the last year or two. Recently, I proposed to have an increase in campus security and monitoring that provides a safer barrier for our school children. Proposals like this will immediately and effectively help to remedy safety and security concerns, won't let the children feel like they are walking into a prison like some of our neighboring county school district children experience, and are budget friendly. So far, our district has made great strides on safety and security.
Comprehensive, age and developmentally appropriate, medically-accurate, inclusive sex education has been proven to improve students’ long-term health outcomes, yet it is not required that students be provided with this information in their sex-ed programs. Do you believe that public school sex-ed programs should be comprehensive, medically accurate, and inclusive?
I do believe that if we are to have public school sex education programs, they should be comprehensive, age and developmentally appropriate, taught by appropriately-credentialed educators, closely monitored, medically and genetically-accurate, and inclusive. In my strong opinion, programs like these should not be required. However, I would rather see our school children learn and become educated by programs like this than by them hearing something from their peers, seeing something on social media, TV, or other apps and websites that cause them to have negative, deviant and incorrect knowledge and information.
Do you support ending the use of pepper spray on students by the school district police? Yes or No, and why?
I have not heard if this is a problem or not in Nevada's schools. In my opinion, I feel it should not be taken out of our schools.
In fact, I'm open to discussing the possibility of having armed personnel on our school grounds. Again, I'm firm in my belief to find the best ways to keep our schools and children safe and secure.
I would hate for any of our school children or families to physically or emotionally suffer because of some school tragedy that we didn't properly and thoroughly prepare for. I would rather be considerate of options and in hearing about all sides of an argument than to blindly ignore the reality of our society's problem that we could one day be faced with.
Post Covid we have many students who have not been able to catch up in their learning. It is particularly alarming that the younger students, who did not acquire reading skills during remote learning, are very far behind in reading proficiency. At the other end, we have seen a drop in Nevada’s high school graduation rates, with minorities, special ed, and ELLs now suffering a significant graduation gap. How do we address the needs of the Covid generation?
I believe we are all part of the "Covid generation." We have all suffered in one way or another. It is tragic what has happened to our school children, of all ages, and how some have fallen very far behind. The good news is that we have all hopefully learned from this event. We have a greater understanding of how important a role our schools play in their educational, emotional and physical well-being. We don't have to pick apart and decide which race or minority group to support the most. Everybody suffered. All kids suffered. Some were able to apparently recover faster than others.
For those children that need special attention, let's give it to them. The difficult part in this also relates to the fact that many of our school districts lack the proper teacher, medical, and staff/administrative support that they desperately need to run effective education programs. As I said before, we have all suffered because of COVID-19. Our teachers have greatly suffered as well. We have lost a great many number of teachers to early retirement or to the disease itself. It's tragic what has happened. Nevada isn't alone in this. There are teacher shortages all around us. It is a national problem.
The plain and simple fact is, we need more teachers now than ever before. This way, we can devote the proper attention that all "suffering" school children desperately need. Are you a retired school teacher, medical personnel or administrator? Come talk to me or someone in the Nye County School District. We are hiring! We have great incentives!
What is your position on legislation such as Don’t Say Gay, and forcing transgender children to use bathrooms of their birth sex?
Personally, I believe that these are notions and/or issues that have become blown-up and are way out of proportion to the actual problems our schools and school children are facing. These are highly politically-charged ideals that are ramped up by certain political parties and idealogues and are purely meant to swell division, hate and misinformation.
Yes, there are problems with these sort of things and that can't be simply ignored. We deal with them as they are in front of us and/or what has been planned for. This is why we have anti-bullying and sex education programs correct? Let's take care of the real problems and not the hyped-up, made-up issues that are merely popular in the moment.
What is your position on restorative justice?
I believe restorative justice is a big problem. It does nothing but encourage bad behavior. Too many instances has bad behavior been ignored or displaced because we are more interested in taking care of the feelings of the bully or troubled child than the victim. Where is the justice for the victim.
This is a national problem. It's also a highly political issue. We can simply see how many states are dealing with huge upticks in crime because of the soft-on-crime policies set forth by certain politically-charged and well-funded district attorney's. It's not just a school district problem. It's a nationwide plague.
Restorative Justice needs to be done away with. We need to go back to the ideals of if "you do the crime, you do the time."