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Virtual forum held for candidates running for San Diego Unified school board seats

Posted at 7:19 AM, Jun 02, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-02 10:19:01-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - On June 7, voters will be making their voices heard at the ballot box, and for some San Diego voters, they will have to make their choices in the race for San Diego Unified school board seats in District B and C.

Five of the six candidates in those areas spoke to the public in a virtual forum hosted by the NAACP San Diego Branch on Wednesday evening. Three of the candidates are vying for the seat to represent schools like Henry and Canyon Hills High Schools.

“On a board with no members with kids in our schools, I’ll elevate parent voices and the experiences of students across our community,” said Shana Hazan, a candidate for the Sub-District B seat.

“As a school board candidate, my top priority is addressing the mental health crisis in our schools and nation. We must address this,” said Godwin Higa, a candidate for the Sub-District B seat.

The NAACP San Diego Branch said one of the Sub-District B candidates Jose Velzaquez was unable to attend the forum due to schedule conflict.

Another three vying to vouch for schools like La Jolla, University City and Mission Bay High Schools

“I feel like I have experience in the whole gambit of students in our district. And I absolutely want to work for every single one of them,” said Sub-District C candidate Lily Higman.

“I’m running to get right our recovery from learning lag which has particularly hit English language learners and black and brown communities,” said Cody Petterson, a candidate for the Sub-District C seat.

“Of the candidates here, I think as kids I want you to be free of fear and well informed and feel like you’re able to make a good decision and are supported in that,” said Sub-District C candidate Becca Williams.

ABC 10News spoke to some parents in Sub-District C about what they would want in their next board member.

Keashonna Christopher would want candidate who can implement safe and inclusive school cultures.

“I want to know how in that District C is it going to be safe and inclusive. I also want to know what they’re doing to dismantle systemic racism and anti-Blackness. That’s important to me as a parent,” Christopher said.

Fellow Sub-District C parent and former teacher Kat Peppers would like to see someone who puts kids first and focuses on the district budget.

“If we don’t balance it and we get a bad reputation, we’re going to lose students. If we lose students, we’re going to lose our great teachers; we have to cut our classes. So, I really want someone who’s got experience with the budget,” Peppers said.

As Election Day gets closer and voters hear from candidates, they’ll soon have their voices heard when to comes to those who are in power.