“School security is something to start acting on and stop just talking about,” Nashert said. “I have a really hard time expecting a teacher to carry a gun — highly trained police officers have a 50 percent chance of hitting their target in a high stress situation, and placing a teacher that loves my child every day in that position is very hard for me. I think there are other alternatives.”
Listing their top three “most pressing issues” for NPS, Nashert listed fiscal responsibility, school safety and equity in education. Barksdale listed safety, excellence in education and fully addressing teachers’ needs.
The candidates’ closing remarks were emotionally driven, with Nashert reading a letter she wrote to her son on the occasion of his high school graduation, citing her experience as an NPS mother as a core motivation for her seeking involvement.
“It’s because of this incredible experience that I had with him in the 12 years he was in Norman Public Schools, and I want to make sure that continues for other students. Thank you for this opportunity,” Nashert said.
Barksdale detailed how he and his family members were deeply affected by their teachers, describing grade school teachers’ influence being second only to that of his mother.
“My teacher would pinch me on the cheek, give me a hug and tell me every day that she loved me. All I want to do is be that kind of a person. God called me into education, and I hope to be able to serve Norman so I can continue to see that kind of compassion and excellence,” Barksdale said.
The school board election will be Tuesday. For information, visit www.clevelandcountyelectionboard.com or call 366-0210. Election results can be followed live at www.normantranscript.