Slinger, WI – There is a race for three seats on the Slinger School Board during the April 5, 2022, Spring Election. A candidate forum, hosted by Common Sense Citizens of Washington County, held recently at the Washington County Fair Park & Conference Center.
The ballot includes four candidates: Bill Brewer, Roman Weninger, Joe Havey, and Gary Feltz.
Slinger School District candidate forum Opening Statement:
Gary Feltz statement read by moderator – two kids attended Slinger School District. Private business owner. Objective is to educate the children. Lowest spending district per pupil across the state. Added elementary school and middle school and students in state-of-the-art facilities.
Bill Brewer – ask yourself about a clear vision for the future. What is important to the voters. Who wants to ban racial stereotyping in school district? Who is pushing for curriculum transparency? We need leaders that stand against the status quo. Important to listen to voters. We need leaders who move toward the future.
Roman Weninger – I grew up in Slinger School District and so did family and wife. My 3 kids went to Slinger too and received an excellent education. Great leaders in SSD came out of SSD. Asked to be on school board and glad to be on because I’m impressed with how they functioned.
Joe Havey – Truly a strong, proactive, conservative board. Plans for growth in community. In touch with the community. Joined board 8 years ago. Slinger has reputation of fantastic community that works wonderful with school district. We’ve been upholding values of school district and community. Aware of society changing and why I got on the board.
• What role should parents play in their child’s education and the school’s curriculum development?
RW – parents should be engaged. If you have a question, don’t be afraid to challenge the board. Need to communicate.
JH – parents should have role in education and curriculum. Slinger is close knit with parents and school system. Slinger has set the standard. All communities are looking to Slinger as the role model. We have policy in place to specifically address curriculum questions. Go to the teacher and if don’t like answer go to principal, admin and then the board. We teach non-biased subject matter.
BB – parents should be involved no question. The parents and guardians are the experts. I’ve tried to engage the process but it’s not easy. Not full curriculum transparency. Emotional wellbeing. Important about safe adults in classroom and parents should be at the top of the list. Voters are in charge including with curriculum.
• With falling test scores in the aftermath of two years of lost time due to Covid, how do we catch students up?
JH – Slinger has been open the whole time. Slinger test scores at the top. ACT scores at the top of the list. We opened athletics as soon as we could. We have ESSER 3 funding to help with student education. We will not be forced to teach gender-neutral topics. No federal hooks in the funding. We will free up taxpayer dollars to deal with development in the district.
BB – compared to other districts Slinger school testing is at the top. We should compare ourselves to a fixed standard not the lower standards set by the state. Volunteer group has details on 20% spent on student catching up on learning and how to lay out an equity program in the school. Important to be proactive.
RW – comparing scores. Reads data. Slinger grades top state average. Online teaching Slinger tops state data. Slinger students fared better during shutdown. Leadership on Slinger School Board did the best for students even if they were taught online. We care about our Slinger students. 400 kids that want to come in and only 100 leave. Slinger reputation is phenomenal.
CLICK HERE as Village of Jackson Clerk Jilline Dobratz answers ballot questions
before April 5, 2022 election
• Violence, bullying, and racism are an issue within some of the school districts in the county. What would your solution to these problems be?
RW – we have policy in SSD. We always follow policy. Bullying will be addressed and there will be follow through. In business we have policy. There won’t be forgiveness. We trust our administrators.
JH – we have policy in place in SSD. We expect teachers and admin to uphold the policy. Expulsion is the last resort, but we follow policy to retain Slinger standard.
BB – it is true there are policies in place and there is a no-tolerance point of view. What about the undercurrent where some instances are not reported. Why, because people may not want to get others in trouble. How do we bring this to light? We need to find the route cause. Let’s ask why.
• Do you think a school district should have the power to make Covid vaccines mandatory for staff and students, and under what circumstances should masks be mandated?
BB – no and none. No don’t mandate vaccines. Medical choice is up to the parent. Should masks be mandatory? No. It is a medical choice and freedom. Parents should talk to kids. We need to trust our parents to be informed and apply common sense. No govt. force needed.
RW – here’s the deal. Before shutdown – I said let’s survey the parents. We asked questions. 70% said no masks. Gov. Evers then issued mask mandates. I was not for masks because I couldn’t breathe. RW said SSD should make masks optional. Vax is up to the parents and individual. We lead and stand by our decisions.
JH – no and no. No reason for school district to mandate vaccinations. SSD was required to have masking because of Gov. mandate but the board eventually moved to masks optional. It is up to student and teachers to make their own decision. There have been a lot of inconsistency, but board has made tough decisions and proud of actions we’ve taken.
• What are your views on the use of CRT and SEL principles in middle school and high school education?
JH – loaded question. What is definition and what is then built into program. Common sense kindness should be encouraging good citizenship. That’s what base SEL is about. However, there are some hooks with SEL, equity and gender fluidity. That is not the Slinger standard. I’m fine with how Slinger is teaching SEL. CRT is a similar creature. We don’t have offensive material in our district. If there are questions, bring it up through the system.
BB – SEL is not emotional quotient. I remember when parents taught politeness. When you look at CRT and SEL it all points to Marxism. This has no place in our school system. I want to know beforehand that this is being taught. It is disingenuous to say it is not being taught… if you haven’t looked and asked questions. We have submitted info to administration. We are trying to engage.
RW – SEL – it’s nice to be important but it is more important to be nice. Communication at SSD is important. I’ve learned there hasn’t been one complaint on record about CRT in SSD. We trust our administrator. Does it deserve research? Yes, absolutely. Rather than CRT we should talk about US history and lives lost in WWII and Civil War and those who fought for our rights and freedoms. We are going to develop a good policy and hold people accountable.
• The National School Board Association has asked the FBI to get involves in school board meetings, claiming an uptick in violence against school board members. Many question whether this is intended to use intimidation to prevent concerned parents from exercising their 1st amendment right to petition the government for a redress of grievances. Do you support or oppose FBI involvement in School Board meetings, are you willing to publicly admonish the National School Board Association for this action, and why or why not?
RW – I thought they were crazy to request the FBI to go after parents questioning the school board. Parents are a source of leadership. A grievance discussing sexually explicit material in the library. SSD does not have to belong to the National School Board Association. I went to a meeting with NSBA but won’t go back.
JH – Do not support FBI getting involved. Slinger halted its affiliation with NSBA – we suspended or cancelled with that organization. Violence and violent threats are never acceptable.
BB – FBI has no role; I denounce that. Why do people get so upset? I highly doubt this would happen in Slinger, but we do need to ask why people get so frustrated. I’ve submitted a policy to the board to ban race and sex stereotyping inside the schools. We want that done. You have to ask the question about route cause and find out why people are upset. We want to promote excellence and work with the community.
BB – We have to be diligent. Slinger School District has been a really good school district, but times have changed, and we need to take a public stand against influences. If you agree with message cast just one vote for Bill Brewer on April 5.
RW – Success is Slinger School District. SSD has a history of success. Slinger is a goldmine. The teachers, admin, students and board. There is a strong history. Our tech ed department received $350K of support. Vote Roman Weninger, Gary Feltz and Joe Havey.
JH – If you appreciate success Slinger has been successful. Vote for the three incumbents. We lead from a position of strength, optimism, and trust. Look at our track record and history. We’ve had more people show up to meetings and we welcome that.
The Spring Election is Tuesday, April 5, 2022. In-person absentee voting starts March 22, 2022, and runs through 5 p.m. on Friday, April 1, 2022.