This is the final post for the this candidate’s forum report. Should any candidate feel that their position was mis-represented in this and any previous post, please feel free to comment on and/or correct any statement made. Again, due to time constraints, Threshold limited responses to only four candidates per question.
Question: Did you know that in 2008 New York was rated the highest among the fifty states in reports of aids cases, how do you suggest we go about [addressing] this, other than abstinence, in our youth?
Adams: Testing for HIV is known to reduce transmission . . . treatment is critically important
Eagle: We must work together . . . this cannot be an isolated discussion . . . the idea is to collaborate if we’re to come up with a solution that works
Hodgins: It’s important to know we’re missing one of the components of HIV Aids transmission and that is through intravenous drugs . . . it all starts with counseling [and] testing
A. Williams: There is no one method, we really need to try a lot of different things . . . we have to partner with the faith community, partner with parents, we have to partner with community organizations, Community Place, Safe Sex Inc., to make sure that we get the message out that really resonates
Question: How can you further educate teens about their health?
Powell: Applying peer pressure . . . on your peers to get tested, pressure on your classmates to be aware of the risks, not just to themselves but to the people they care about
Adams: One of the most important things in health education done early is the difference between knowledge and actually enacting healthy behavior . . . the behavioral component is essential . . . behavioral counseling
Question: How can you expect the methods and programs to work if you have the older kids influencing the young kids in school such as, middle schools being with high schools . . . setting the examples?
A. Williams: Right now, in the district, there is a movement to go from a K to 6 to a K through 8 model and in my opinion it’s not going to work and that’s really something we have to come to grips with . . . I’d rather have parents get behind this issue of not going to that K through 8 model and bringing pressure to bear on the Board
Eagle: It is this current Board that created that policy to move from the current grade [levels] to K through 8 . . . we need to ask that question right now whether this plan should go forward
Powell: There is something we have to do about establishing good role models on high school kids . . . we have to do a better job of that
Smith: I agree with Howard . . . it’s [K-8] a bad idea
Hodgins: I think that we need to look at this age break-down more clearly because again, it goes back to sexuality . . . we generally experience a sexual change around these age groups . . . in middle school and high school and that’s where we’re experiencing a lot of problems with peer pressure . . . I am in favor of K-8 . . . it will keep our 12 year olds away from 18, 19, 20 year olds who are left in our district
Question: Since HIV is becoming a rising issue in teens between the ages of 13 and 25, why don’t Rochester schools offer STD/STI testing instead of putting up GYT posters about it?
Hodgins: I think that might be a good policy for the Board to consider
Flagler: You can’t do it without parent permission, there are a lot of laws about testing a child in schools for HIV or Aids
G. Williams: We have health systems, private health centers, neighborhood health centers, schools are there to educate and inform and that’s what we need to do a better job of . . . don’t put everything on schools
Adams: The counselors in East High School [are] a credit to the trusting relationships that were established in those high schools . . . they[students] were tested before they got sick and they’re not spreading HIV to their peers
Unfortunately, the last two questions concerning class size and teacher evaluation were not recorded due to battery failure and candidate answers can not be posted.
The next candidate forum is Wednesday, August 31, 2011 at the Stardust Ballroom, 41 Backus St., from 6:30 – 8:00 PM.
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