School safety at stake


Sample ballot show students who is up for election.

Trent Warnock, Political Writer

   With the general elections for the state of Florida just weeks away, candidates running in all positions are preparing. And with the recent school shootings, one of the major focuses of this election are school board candidates’ platforms. They have the power to take safety measures that could prevent victims of another attack, or increase security so attacks don’t start in the first place.

   One of the candidates running for District 6 (Osceola’s district) is Bill Dudley, a former teacher and St. Petersburg city council member. “I’ve educated all my life”, he said, “I spent 38 years as a teacher at Northeast, retired in 2006, then was a part of the St. Petersburg city council. I have experience in both teaching and legislature, and I’m eager to do this”.

Obviously with active shooter safety videos being shown in schools across Pinellas, security is a priority with the school board, and Dudley seems to agree. “The number one thing to be concerned with is safety”. But he’s not shying away from other problems affecting Pinellas County Schools. “I also want to see the achievement gap closed, and I want to address attendance or the lack thereof”.

   With the student voter registration, some students will actually have the chance to vote in the general election on November 6. As such, they will also be able to vote for school board. Dudley addresses why students should vote for him rather than his opponent, Matt Stewart: “The school board needs help, and I’m the guy to do it. I have experience, I know what’s going on in schools. My opponent is working as a Human Resource Manager”.

Matt Stewart was contacted for comments, but no response was received. In the end, the general election will decide who will be making the fixes to Pinellas County Schools.