This story is a staff report from The Paper.

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The Paper. asks the candidates to explain why they are running for office and explain solutions to issues in our city in their own words. We have included their full responses, with very little editing. Nicholas Bevins, Julie Brenning and Courtney Jackson are running for the Albuquerque Public School Board in District 7. Julie Brenning is the only candidate who responded to the questionnaire. To find your district visit aps.edu

Please introduce yourself.

I believe I have the right combination of character and experience to bring our community together to solve challenges we face in this district. I have three children, two of whom are school-aged and have special needs. I am the only candidate for district 7 who has worked professionally on solving real challenges in our schools and community. I bring my unique work experiences in the State Legislature, Bernalillo County Commission and APS schools to ensure quality education for all students.

If a vaccine is approved for school-aged children, do you think Albuquerque Public Schools should require proof of vaccination for students to go to school? Why or why not?

APS already requires proof of vaccines for all public school students. The decision to require additional vaccines is made by the New Mexico Department of Health (NMDOH). The APS School Board is held under the jurisdiction of the decisions of the NMDOH. Research shows students need in-person learning and as a board member I will support science-based safety measures such as masks, social distancing, ventilation, and even outdoor learning to keep our students in the classroom.

Should Albuquerque Public Schools have its own police department?

I support the formation of Threat Assessment Teams in our schools. These Teams consist of school administrators, counselors, teachers and other community members. They work to identify potential threats of violence in schools and intervene when students demonstrate warning signs. These Teams are a proven, research-based way to intervene to prevent violence. I also support preventative behavioral and mental health measures, such as adding more counselors and social workers in our schools.

How should APS teach students about New Mexico’s diverse cultural history and its legacies of colonization, discrimination, and inequity?

New Mexico has a rich cultural history that should be taught to all grades in an age-appropriate way. I support the teaching of ethnic studies, history and civics. However, as a school board member, I cannot set or write curriculum. I can and will support complete staff training on anti-racism, focused on tools of mediation and de-escalation. I am also committed to the support of a Superintendent who is centered in equity and engages with all of our communities.