CPS hosts five-candidate forum for two board positions

CPS hosts fivecandidate forum for two board positions

COLUMBIA, Mo. - UPDATE: On the subject of school safety in the wake of multiple school shootings, each candidate gave a heartfelt response.

Tilley said educational measures are necessary for insuring students are safe. "You have to be teaching all the time," Tilley said. "You have to have be providing professional development."

Lero said that police officers being armed are the only instances where he supports guns on campuses. "I don't think the answer is arming teachers," Nero said.

King said students need to be safe at all times before and after school. "We need to protect them by the time they get on the bus... to the time they get back to their bus stop," King said.

Maledy said she was impressed with the students that have spoken up against gun violence in the wake of recent school shootings. "I feel like they're leading the rest of us adults," Maledy said. "Maybe the direction we need to go."

Blackburn proposed creating a district taskforce to that "would include mental health folks, district officials, law off, and most importantly teachers in classrooms that in classrooms side by side with kids each day."

ORIGINAL: Five candidates are running for the chance to serve on the Columbia Public Schools Board of Education, and they will soon field questions about issues facing the district.

A forum moderated by educators with the Columbia Missouri National Education Association will take place Wednesday from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m at Mary Paxton Keeley Elementary School, which is located at 201 Park DeVille Drive.

Candidates are vying for two spots on the seven-person board. One opening exists because Darin Preis, the current board president, is not running for re-election. 

The second spot currently belongs to Christine King, who is running to keep her seat for a fourth term.

The other candidates, in no particular order, are James "Ben" Tilley, Tyler Lero, Susan Blackburn and Teresa Maledy. For a list of all the candidates, click here.

The two board members will be decided at the April 3 election. The deadline to register is March 7. Click here for more information on the election and how to register.

ABC 17 News will update this story as it develops.

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