Meet the Candidate
Running For:School Board
District:Armstrong School District
Biographical Info: (click to expand)
John Thomas is an active member of the Kittanning Community. He has been a Deacon at Harvest Church for several years, where he has been a leader in the children’s ministry and involved in the jail ministry. He has contributed to community improvement through Habitat for Humanity’s Rock the Block initiatives, and has supported the Kittanning Community Garden. Being an educator for over 15 years, and a libertarian for even longer, John has unique insight into how to reign in school spending, lower taxes, and curtail government indoctrination.
Why are you running for office? (click to expand)
Education has always been a central focus of mine, as I have always been committed to the truth. When I saw that government schools were becoming more active in leading students away from the truth, rather than providing them with the capacity to discover the truth, I decided to run. Many schools were adopting harmful policies that required school employees to embrace lies, such as calling females men, or males women, or else face termination. This creates a harmful situation for our students. I have also have been becoming increasingly concerned about the waste involved in education. The Armstrong School District recently crossed two milestones. They dropped below 5,000 students, and their budget also exceeded $100 million for the first time. Shrinking enrollment should also mean shrinking expenses. However, due to wasteful spending, the budget continues to grow, as our student body shrinks. Finally, transparency is important to me. Currently, parents and tax payers discover new curriculum and policies only after they have been paid for and implemented. Therefore, they do not have an opportunity to object to how resources are being spent. I would like to make this process more transparent, so the community can see what is being done in classrooms before children come home to tell parents about it.
- −Declined to Respond/Undecided, Position Unknown/Unclear
- †Declined to respond, Position based on citation
|1. Providing state tax credits and education savings accounts to enable parents to choose what school their child attends.||S*||School choice is the primary mechanism we can use to allow for diversity of thought. However, we must make sure that educational savings accounts do not come with strings dictating what type of curriculum or programs are offered at schools receiving them. If they come with those strings, then ultimately, educational savings accounts could lead to less choice, by making private schools cookie cutter versions of the current government schools.|
|2. Reserving girls’ sports exclusively for biological females.||S*||This should not be a controversial opinion. Clearly girls sports should be for girls. That's the reason we have girls sports and boys sports competing separately - so our daughters have an opportunity to compete on a level playing field.|
|3. Separating restrooms, locker rooms, and other privacy areas based on biological sex.||S*||The reason we have a boys locker room and a girls locker room is not because of cultural differences between the genders. It's because of biological differences. We should use those biological differences to determine which facilities are utilized.|
|4. Permitting students to discuss their Christian faith with others during non-class time on school premises.||S*||This is not only a freedom of religion, but a also freedom of speech issue. Schools should not be in the business of denying either freedom to their students, faculty, or staff.|
|5. Allowing school personnel to refer students to abortion providers.||O*||While I am opposed to policing personal conversations school personnel might have with students, and approach this with caution, no human should EVER refer another human to a murder facility. I have been endorsed by the Libertarian Pro-Life Caucus because of my unwavering support for the rights of the pre-born.|
|6. Requiring signed permission (opt-in) from a parent before a student may participate in sex education classes or presentations on gender identity theory.||S*||Schools try to keep these programs hidden from parents. Requiring this would provide a much needed level of transparency to what is happening in the classroom.|
|7. Increasing transparency by requiring videos or documents shown to students [which are not part of pre-approved curriculum] be preserved for easy review by administrator and parents||S*||Transparency is one of the central components of why I am running. I would extend this to allowing the community to see the materials that are being used in teacher professional development as well. The community has a right to see how the teachers who are in classrooms with their students are being trained.|
|8. Providing curricula that advocates critical race theory and its emphasis on defining people as oppressors or oppressed based on group identity or privileges.||O*||Schools should not teach hate. Critical race theory is a mechanism by which schools divide students and cause hatred between the races.|
|9. Requiring teachers to use "she" to describe a biological male student who identifies as a female, even if the teacher offered a reasonable alternative.||O*||Policies that require faculty or students to speak lies is a clear violation of their freedom of speech and freedom of religion.|
|10. Specifying in school policy that materials containing visual depictions of people engaging in sex acts or explicit written descriptions of people engaging in sex acts is not age-appropriate for the school’s curriculum and libraries.||S*||Pornographic materials should not be distributed to minors in a school or anywhere else.
Note: Updated 10-2-23