Thanks again to the Landmark and its informative candidates’ coverage. As a former teacher I was especially interested in the high school candidate profiles. My read of the RB Landmark Voter Empowerment Guide is that we have four good candidates for the RBHS Board of Education. 

Two bring experience having been on the board, there is representation from each of the served communities, there is racial and gender diversity, finance, advocacy and educational experience — all represented. I took to heart the commitment expressed for our children, awareness of the shifting times and values brought on by the pandemic, population changes and goals of our graduates.

I am guessing I am not the only one who didn’t understand the use of the term “cis.” I hadn’t come across it before, but I am in my eighties and not familiar with many changes in contemporary languages. 

Anyway, I looked up the definition and I still didn’t really understand. Briefly the term stands for “opposite to transgender.” That didn’t tell me a lot. I called my twin sister in New York. She is a lesbian and she and her wife were not familiar with the term, but suggested I google it!

What I learned was helpful. Having worked with youth and family services for years while teaching, I know how important it is to have someone to turn to with non-judgmental ears to listen when struggling with personal concerns and stresses. 

Movies, TV, social media and the internet don’t make it easy for young people to get through the teen years. The suicide rate of young people reflects the seriousness of the stress many of our youth experience today. 

I feel badly that others and even I were not there for my sister in earlier years. Maybe as a young adult she wouldn’t have felt such a strong need to distance herself from family and friends, who had even less understanding back then.

I am not advocating for one candidate or another, I don’t know any of them personally, I don’t know anyone who has kids in high school even. I just want to encourage voters who are not familiar with the reference to “cis” to look it up. From a mental health perspective it is another competency, sensitivity, understanding one of the candidates could bring to the board.

Do vote, our democracy depends on our participation.

Sandra Baumgardner