What ideas do you have to better the lives of Oklahoma’s children?
One of the most significant changes is to reduce the class size in our public schools. If teachers/staff have less children they have time to make interventions quickly for any social, emotional, physical and academic needs. Making our schools “trauma sensitive” places so the Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) scores allow us to know and change the course of students lives by adressing the needs of the most vulnerable. We currently do not teach the whole child/whole family, we react after problems occur.
What have you done to support children prior to this election?
I have spent my adult life attempting to improve that lives of children, through my ministry as a youth minister. Working with families who are stressed which produces, child and domestic abuse situations. I worked with Payne County Health Department to implement “mini-health” conferences which focused on good decision making and taught healthy birth control measures for teenagers.
I have worked alongside the founding committee for the local children’s museum.
My wife and I have worked with the ACE task force to increase the awareness of the needs of our county and state.
What will you do to support families in your new role, if elected?
One of the reasons I am running is I hope to be able to support legislation that will improve the lives of children. I think it is appalling that we are in the top 10 on all areas that produce an adverse environment in children’s lives. I hope to be an advocate and bring to light how our current criminal justice system unnecessarily breaks up families placing parents in a cycle of incarceration for non-violent offenses, how family leave does not allow for bonding of newborns and the inequality of gender pay creates financial stress for female one parent families. I also would like to see support for schools who become trauma-informed schools.