You have permission to edit this article.

Putting children first means putting families first

Some of my wife’s most memorable moments as an educator were seeing children grow and gain confidence in their own abilities; it’s something both so ordinary and so spectacular.

These moments have made my wife’s time as an educator incredibly rewarding. It’s moving to see an exceptionally gifted student reach achievements beyond their years and likewise to see a struggling student get the hang of a difficult task. All of these moments are being marred, overshadowed or even wiped out completely by an agenda that loudly tells parents that their values and priorities need to be undone. This has been happening for longer than many would like to admit.

The number of teachers and faculty who use their position as a platform for radical activism is small, but its effects are far-reaching and devastating. While the vast majority of teachers genuinely want to help children learn, there are policies and special interests behind the scenes that are kept out of the view of parents. Our current school board and administration have said in no uncertain terms that concerns over parents’ rights and values are unfounded or that they don’t exist at all.

The parents I meet have an entirely different perspective. They’ve had enough of schools trying to co-parent, and they’re tired of their children being villainized. These parents and guardians are done having the school district make medical decisions for their child. They’ve had enough of their child’s academic needs being sidelined for the sake of cultural “sensitivity” training. Parents entrust their children to teachers so that they can be made ready for the challenges of the workforce, university, and ultimately, adulthood. They aren’t being brought to the district to be the captives of social engineering.

We need to restore the district back to the role it was made for and what its professionals have trained for: the instruction of children in reading, writing, arithmetic and unbiased humanities. This is the only way things are going to be repaired. Students should not be viewed as a social project; they’re individuals with unique educational needs, and an extension of their household and the values that are taught there. Educational outcomes will improve if we quit the crusade against families.

In this election, you have one of two choices: Vote in favor of the board members who kept your children out of school, put 2 year olds in masks, and usurped your right to teach your values to your child; or, you can vote for Jeff Rentzel and Andrew Graham. We will ensure that your values aren’t being subverted by the district, that your child’s medical decisions are left up to you, and we’ll make certain that your tax dollars are being used efficiently and effectively.

Andrew Graham lives in Fairbanks. He is running for Seat A on the Fairbanks North Star Borough Board of Education.

Recommended for you


The Daily News-Miner encourages residents to make themselves heard through the Opinion pages. Readers' letters and columns also appear online at Contact the editor with questions at or call 459-7574.

Community Perspective

Send Community Perspective submissions by mail (P.O. Box 70710, Fairbanks AK 99707) or via email ( Submissions must be 500 to 750 words. Columns are welcome on a wide range of issues and should be well-written and well-researched with attribution of sources. Include a full name, email address, daytime telephone number and headshot photograph suitable for publication (email jpg or tiff files at 150 dpi.) You may also schedule a photo to be taken at the News-Miner office. The News-Miner reserves the right to edit submissions or to reject those of poor quality or taste without consulting the writer.

Letters to the editor

Send letters to the editor by mail (P.O. Box 70710, Fairbanks AK 99707), by fax (907-452-7917) or via email ( Writers are limited to one letter every two weeks (14 days.) All letters must contain no more than 350 words and include a full name (no abbreviation), daytime and evening phone numbers and physical address. (If no phone, then provide a mailing address or email address.) The Daily News-Miner reserves the right to edit or reject letters without consulting the writer.

Submit your news & photos

Let us know what you're seeing and hearing around the community.