BY MCKENNA BERNSTEIN
I think everyone deserves a voice whether you agree or disagree. People want to be heard when they have something to say – parents, students, etc. My mom, Christine Bernstein, will always take the time to listen to people in the community, in person, on the phone, or in an email.
Yes she gets a lot of feedback from me about the schools and my personal experience, and she always asks, “Do any other students feel the way you do?” and rarely I can answer that question, I don’t ever hear the students talk about how they feel about school.. I have a mom who will hear and listen to my honest opinion, but do other students have someone they can talk to about the way they feel? Someone who will listen? Is she asking me that because she wants to know if students feel safe talking about their feelings on school? (negative or positive) if students have a voice? Is she wondering if I am truly alone in my feelings? She wants to dig deep. Instead of staying on the surface and being comfortable she goes underground and tries to find an answer to something most people are afraid to find.
With all this new change in the schools, my mom got tons of feedback from parents. So she decided to go to a few of the schools, especially the high school, and ask students their honest opinions about the new free lunch, not only getting the parents’ voice but also the student’s. I think that she did this out of her caring for the well-being of the students. She herself can’t make a complete change, but with her information gathered she can go to the rest of the school board and they can do what they are able to do with that information.
One thing is that all the feedback she gets is from adults. All the complaints are from adults. I haven’t seen or heard much from the kids/students she has talked to, but I know that her former students enjoyed her class and she made a positive impact. My mom’s business during quarantine (2020-2021) had a positive impact on them, some went because they needed company, others showed up to get help with work, some came to just have a place to focus and do work; she provided a safe place for students who needed it or wanted it. It wasn’t huge, but she made a small impact on a bunch of different kids and brought them together. These are just a few examples that I am not involved in.
She hears the students but also takes in the parents voice as well by speaking to them in person, reading their emails, their letters, taking it in and listening, giving feedback to the best of her ability or just being a person that will listen. Being on the school board doesn’t mean having all the power to change things, and this letter of support isn’t to hate on the other people running, but to show the impact my mom has had on the community. Everyone will have a bias, but I see how she tries her best to be unbiased and do the best she can to support the people in the community.