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  • Writer's pictureJessie Thompson

Respect: The Missing Link

Recently I was speaking with someone, and while we were discussing my campaign for the Volusia County School Board, they asked me a simple, yet loaded, question.

“Jessie, if you could make one change to improve our schools, what would that be?”

I had to really stop and think. There are so many changes, both large and small, that could make an impact on so many. But just one? It didn’t take me too long to trace all the issues we see to a core issue that transcends our schools, and reaches into a core problem in society: respect.

Past generations knew about respect. They were aware of respect amongst friends, neighbors, elders, and community members as a whole. While I can’t put all the blame on social media, that network has played an intricate part in the disintegration of respect in society. People are allowed to hide behind fabricated names, and computer screens, and disrespect anyone they so choose. This behavior is egged on by celebrities, politicians, and “icons” of our country.

In the schools specifically, there is a massive lack of respect on all levels. Between students and their teachers; teachers and administrators; school boards and parents, and every relationship in between.

To begin to heal a completely broken system, we must institute respect. Not through our mear words and writings, but through our actions. We say we want our children to be the change, but we must show them how.

When I speak, I will sometimes challenge people to be that change in society: To be the respect that our children need to see, and learn from. While running this campaign, I promise to respect those running against me; those with differing thoughts and ideas. I’m here for a better and complete education, and as a proud parent, I’m here for the children.

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