Kylie Heflin’s call to service was a quiet one that started with a conversation with her dad. A mom of three, Kylie is running for the Ashland-Greenwood school district in Ashland, Nebraska. She’d not seen herself as the take-action type, but dads have this great ability to be catalysts for action, calling us to be the best version of ourselves in moments when we start to feel too comfortable. And, after a sleepless night, a lot of prayer, and an uncanny sign from God, Kylie took up the call her dad had put before her.
In an impulsive move, Kylie registered to run for school board, finding a stillness and confidence in Hebrews 10:38 (“But my righteous one will live by faith. And I take no pleasure in the one who shrinks back”). From there, Kylie delved into research, learning everything she could about the current issues within and facing education. And she was shocked at the state of some school boards, their financial irresponsibility and lack of transparency, as well as the very existence of critical race theory, let alone its slow trickle into the classrooms of children across the country.
“It was one of the most impulsive things I have ever done, but ultimately it felt like a call to obedience.”
Kylie is fighting for a number of things: greater school board transparency, more responsible spending, more parent involvement. But at the core of her platform is her desire to make sure the students, the kids, remain the foremost priority. Not political agendas, not radical theories, or strong-hold policies, but good, real education that provides ample opportunity to kids, makes teachers excited and passionate about their work, and increases both the educational value and test scores of the whole district.
“I want to see a community and student body that serve each other out of a sense of pride and ownership of our town.”
Political and social agendas are more and more aggressively pushing things like critical race theory that waste valuable time feeding kids the lie that they are either the oppressor or the oppressed, preying upon innocent children who are supposed to be learning math, science, history, and reading and writing. These sorts of policies and academic theories have no place in elementary, middle, or high school. Instead, Kylie is hoping to enact change that focuses on the kids and the necessary aspects of education that will help them succeed in all areas of life; “Are they safe? Do they have what they need to learn? Are they progressing? Is school a positive experience? Do they have the people around them that they need to succeed?”
The problem is, as Kylie sees it, the education system, over the last 20-30 years, has been given far too much power and too high of a place in the daily lives of children. It is now being used as a weapon instead of a resource, and one of the only ways the schools will improve is if parents get involved.
“We are seeing where schools have begun to take a leading role in areas such as mental health treatment, healthcare decisions, counseling children on gender identity and sexual health, and basically instilling morality. And for so many parents, they don’t even realize it’s happening.”
You are parents, your role in your child’s life should not be minimized or hijacked by public schools. While these institutions might once have been reliable enough to trust your children to their care, their credibility, in the face of overwhelming public pressure, has been faltering and failing. The new role of the schools seems to be mentor, educator, counselor, doctor, therapist, babysitter, parent, historian, social advocate, and moral compass. That’s a ton of pressure to put on teachers who just want to teach.
In light of the growing invasion of politics into education, Kylie urges parents to get involved and stay involved. The simplest way to do so is to be the one who drops off and picks up your kid from school. By making this a regular part of her family’s routine, Kylie has been able to connect with other parents, discuss what is going on at her kids’ school, and what curriculum the other parents have seen.
Additionally, if you feel like the school is not being totally transparent about what they’re teaching—a possibility parents weren’t aware of until COVID and quarantine education—Kylie suggests maybe putting together a Facebook group or text group with the other parents in the district so you can all help each other stay informed and up-to-date with what is happening in the district.
Surely, it’s up to the school board to be transparent with their constituents (this is a major change Kylie would like to see and enact on her own school board should she win her seat) but just because they should, doesn’t mean they will. So it’s up to parents to stay informed!
“Because the danger becomes that we don’t know what we don’t know.”
And when it comes to your children’s lives, you need to know. Kylie and her husband settled in the Ashland-Greenwood area to stay out of the city and find a smaller community where they could raise their kids in an area they felt matched their values. Because of this, while serving on the school board, Kylie wants to make sure that other parents are able to find that peace of mind, knowing that their school board is honest and forthright with information and decisions, and where they can be an active part of education—because they’re needed in this aspect of life just as much as any other.
“To the best of my ability, I want to give parents as much access and decision making power to their kids’ education as possible.”
As for Kylie and her husband, they will continue to be active players in their children’s education, as well as instill in them the notion that they are not the state’s responsibility, that “they do not belong to a school or to society but they belong to God first, and our family second.”
Kylie anticipates serving her community on the school board as an active community member who focuses on students, teachers, and education that lays down solid foundations for successful futures. Among the many other school board responsibilities, Kylie’s primary goal will be to make schools safe and secure, ensure healthy financial practices within the district, promote complete transparency between the school board and parents, provide support for teachers, and create a curriculum that provides a well-rounded education for all students.
“As the schools go; so the nation goes. So be informed, know who the school board candidates are in your area, and cast your vote accordingly.”
Voters in the Ashland-Greenwood district can vote for Kylie Heflin on November 8th and learn more about her, her family and their values here.
“But my righteous one will live by faith. And I take no pleasure in the one who shrinks back” – Hebrews 10:38