A platform for censoring teachers

To the Editor:
The book-banning movement seen across the United States has arrived in Guilderland. Four candidates for the district’s board of education are running on a platform that they call “parents’ choice,” but which is really a platform for censoring teachers.

April McAllister describes herself as a “faith-based parent” who believes it is a “constitutional right for parents to decide what is best in terms of education and health for their children.” She states she wants to return to “academics” and get away from thorny social issues. She has questioned the idea of separation of church and state and posted about the need to prepare for the Rapture.

Mark Reamer has stated on social media that the current board has a “negative agenda” and is “well on their way to CRT & it needs to be stopped.”

Nicole Coonradt has written on social media that she is already working to remove a book from the school library: “Lawn Boy” by Jonathan Evison, a coming-of-age novel about a young Chicano gardener which School Library Journal calls “eminently readable and deeply thought-provoking.”

Barbara Fraterrigo has been a member of the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee since its inception two years ago, and members spent a great deal of time, particularly in the first year, trying to convince her of the need for the committee to focus at all on race.

Our schools shape our town’s future residents, which is why all residents are required to pay school taxes. The character of our schools affects everyone, including those who do not currently have a child in school. It is crucial that anyone interested in ensuring that Guilderland’s children grow into well-educated, open-minded, compassionate adults vote in the May 17 election.

I will be voting for three incumbents, Kelly Person, Gloria Towle-Hilt, Kim Blasiak, and one newcomer, Katie DiPierro.

Kelly Person is a member of the board of education’s DEI Committee and, as a member of the LGBTQ+ community herself, is committed to making student life positive and equitable for all.

Gloria Towle-Hilt is also on the DEI Committee and is a former educator who believes strongly in education, not censorship.

Kim Blasiak founded a new PTA in the district specifically for parents of students with special needs and has advocated for those students for years at school board meetings, before recently joining the board herself.

Katie DiPierro has worked with New York State United Teachers to support DEI initiatives across public education in New York State.

Elizabeth Floyd Mair 


DEI Committee of the

Guilderland School Board

Editor’s note: Elizabeth Floyd Mair formerly worked as a reporter for The Altamont Enterprise and occasionally writes freelance articles for the newspaper.

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