We asked all candidates to fill out a survey and our group has chosen to endorse, recommend or not recommend based on their answers. Here are Dee Grey’s responses that shows that they are a great representative for our teachers, students and parents!
How do you define SEL strategies and what do you believe it does in the classroom?
Social emotional learning is the process of coaching awareness of emotions and how to regulate them. I believe emotional regulation is a skill, and can be learned through intention, practice, and proper tools. I believe understanding your emotions can help you also understand how you’re interacting with the world, and what is affecting your ability to succeed. Strong emotional awareness helps take away personal blame for failures, and shifts to systems thinking analysis. What can I improve next time to improve my chance of success.
What importance do you attribute to PE and health and how do feel about the cuts made to these subject areas in the past?
The idea that we say we have the best economy in the states, but cannot afford to educate our children is backwards. We should be bolstering these requirements and creating a healthy connection to exercise for today’s youth.
What ideas have you formulated that will increase public school funding to keep up with growth, fully compensate teachers for their expertise and commitment to teaching, ensure they have the classroom resources they need to be effective educators, and making teacher retention a priority?
We already have a significant surplus. Let’s start by using that fully on education and begin to pay teachers like they provide the most important service for our state and our economy. I do not believe that we should completely eliminate the property tax revenue for education, but I believe that the budgets should be more fairly allocated to provide improvements in education outcomes through improved funding.
How do you define CRT and do you believe it is currently being taught in Utah public schools?
CRT is a college level theory that can be used as a lens in which to assess events and their outcomes based on how that lens could have impacted both. No, it is not currently being taught in Utah public schools. What is being taught is simply accurate systems thinking.
What vetting process do you support when a parent objects to a book in their child’s school? What actions do you believe school districts should take or not take?
I respect every parent’s desire to be able to structure the information their children receive, to protect them from danger, and to enhance their lives. But we also have to recognize that lawnmower parenting is detrimental to the growth of our children. They do not learn how to process information that is oppositional to their ideas, and thus cannot build strong critiques of either that new information or the old. The focus of so many of the book bans are simply lgbtqia-affirming content. We do a disservice to our children by attempting to erase queer content from schools. As our state becomes more diverse, and attracts more tech and engineering firms, our children will need to be able to contribute effectively to those new opportunities. They won’t be able to do this if they cannot interact with queer people. Our own children will not be prepared to be employed by most of our large employers.
Considering legislation that has been proposed in the last 10 years, how would you vote on voucher/school choice bills?
School choice and the recent attacks on teachers are both methods to try and privatize education. Profit motives for education, mixed with the large disparities in services between the wealthy and the poor, are reasons I would push against school choice and instead push to improve our public school options so that we all benefit from a quality educated citizenry.
What are your views on the Summit program or programs like it being implemented in our schools?
I will be honest in saying that I was not aware of the Summit program. I am assuming it is this program: https://www.summitlearning.org/ I believe this is one of those examples of how public school can be innovative. I am definitely for a more connected focus between teachers and their students, allowing the students to build confidence in their progress..and not just their current state.
What ways can we support diversity in our curriculum so that all students see themselves as culturally relevant?
By providing an accurate historical context, age appropriate, about why and how some people have been removed, and how valuable it is to bring them back into recognition.
What have you personally done to support teachers/public education?
I joined my School Community Council and drove towards more diversity, specifically working with and evaluating the Diversity and Inclusion team’s content. I went to a recent school board meeting to push for more diversity and inclusion and less exclusion and hatred.
How will you show your commitment to public education outside of your role as an elected official?
#1. I will keep my kids in public school. I want to ensure that all legislators are required to use public school, to incentivize them to invest in their district more effectively. But as for me, I will because I believe in it, and I believe that we have amazing teachers. #2. I will continue to engage in discourse, as a queer parent, with anti-lgbt and anti-public school advocates in order to build bridges and deconstruct assumptions and rebuild trust with teachers. #3. I will engage more directly with my children’s teachers to create a supportive relationship that the teacher will feel safe in.