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Appoquinimink School District is ramping up for May's School Board elections

The Appoquinimink School Board held a ‘meet the candidates’ event for its upcoming election this week.

Four candidates are vying for an at-large board seat in one of the state’s fastest growing districts. Two attended the event which covered topics such as sexuality and gender, implementing the state’s Black History education law, and school safety.

When asked about handling issues surrounding sexuality and gender, Raymond Petkevis says it is not something to discuss in school, but should be supported.

“I don’t believe the school should take a position on the sexuality of our children. I believe that starts with the family- that’s a family conversation,” said Petkevis. “I think the school should support the family. And if that conversation is being had at a family level and the family wants the school to support that conversation, then I think it’s appropriate. But I do not think it’s important for the family to start that conversation.”

Both Petkevis and Timothy Johns added the district should defer to state law when it comes to the right of transgender students to use the bathroom that aligns with their gender.

Delaware has a non-discrimination law protecting adults in the workplace. However, non-discrimination practices in schools are handled on a district-level.

On the topic of school safety, Johns says with the rapid growth within the district, it is a prominent concern.

“I think we need to have more collaboration with the local police and the school district and the schools. I think if we do that… there are things that the police know that the teachers don’t know, and there are things that the teachers know that the school doesn't know,” said Johns.

He says working together on a comprehensive plan would allow the district to avoid negative outcomes moving forward.

Petkevis shared similar sentiments, adding he’d like to see more vigilant monitoring of school hallways.

Tashiba Graham and Madeline Locke are also on the ballot in this race. Delaware’s school board elections are May 9th.

Quinn Kirkpatrick was born and raised in Wilmington, Delaware and a graduated of the University of Delaware. She joined Delaware Public Media in June 2021