Category: Letter to the Editor

WANTED: A school board who will protect our children!

April 5, 2023

Note from Indian River News: The views expressed in this Letter to the Editor are NOT reflective of Indian River News as an organization, along with its Owner(s) and any other employees it may have. The views expressed in this Letter to the Editor, including endorsements, are the author’s, not our own.

In looking back on the past year, one thing bothers me the most… the lack of empathy, understanding and support for parents and community members by the school board. From the day we heard about the proposed senior Diversity Equity Inclusion officer position, and Ms. Barenborg’s shock by the strength of dismay, through the English Language Arts selection process to the library book review, the board members, save one, have sat on the dais and stoically refused to show any personal surprise or concern about the position or materials and how it was all handled.

Every person I know was angered by the financial waste of the DEI position. Everyone I know was shocked by the CRT and LBGTQ garbage in the HMH ELA curriculum. Every person I know was outraged by the obscene books in our school libraries. But all of our school board members (except Jackie Rosario), sat there and supported whatever the Superintendent and administration did or proposed. No surprise, no shock, no apology.

Not once did we hear, “I was also shocked by that book.” “I wouldn’t want my kids to read that!” No, they were silent in the face of their constituents’ concerns or, worse yet, justified the CRT messaging and belittled the parents’ book list. This isn’t about specific curriculum or a specific pornographic book. At the heart of the matter is the loss of common values and an understanding of what is right and wrong, what is moral and immoral. At one point in time, most adults in this country agreed with the movie ranking system…G, PG, PG-13, R, NC-17 ratings. ( Now there appears to be no agreement and no one is sharing the rating scale. (A high school student mom told me she was asked to sign a permission slip because they were showing a PG-13 movie in her son’s class. “And those books are in the library! What a joke!”).

Interestingly enough, 6 books were SO BAD the Board agreed to BAN them from the libraries. Did we hear why some books are fine, but those books were not? What exactly are the parameters of these judgements? Was it visual images of genitals? Was it pedophilia? Was it incest? The more they remain silent, the more questions arise. One wants to ask Mr. Barefoot – did you raise your kids with no moral boundaries? Ms. Jones – do you believe in teaching gender-theory and the ‘new’ pronoun designations to 6-year-olds? Ms. Barenborg – should books in OUR school libraries include propaganda about Black Lives Matter that is not historically or factually correct? Direct questions are not allowed in meetings.

Not only is there a lack of moral foundation, but there’s also a lack of respect and consideration for the people who put them in office. I wasn’t involved in the masking issue, but I believe tensions arose more than a year ago when parents were angry about not having the right to make decisions for their kids. From then on, it was a “We VS Them” board relationship propelled by board members’ actions. Again, no empathy, no understanding of their constituents’ opinions.

As the issues came up and more residents and taxpayers got involved, the board schemed to find a way to reduce the complaints they had to hear or rather sit through. In the end, they made it easier on themselves…they cut the comment period in half by discontinuing a second meeting each month. Now, only once a month, they have to work after 5pm and listen to their constituents complain. Besides, Jackie, Would you hire these people again?

I hate to break it to them but just reducing the time for public comment will not end this war. The momentum is building and the state laws are in the parents’ favor. If needs must, their blatant disregard for the rights of parents and the obscenity laws will be tested in court. If they are running for office, they will have to answer the difficult questions or be turned out.

I believe President Trump said it best Saturday evening.

“We will not sit idly by while our children are segregated, indoctrinated and mutilated by the Radical Left.”

My School Board Recommendations:

District 1:

I’m supporting Candidate Dr. Gene Posca – Internal Medicine specialist most recently at Cleveland Clinic here. Father of three, pro-life, was against vaccine mandates for Cleveland Clinic staff based on medical research. Website: I have personally not met Dr. Gene but I know those who have and they say he’s an excellent person for the Job!

District 2:

I’m supporting current board member Jackie Rosario – Jackie is a mom and was in education, but she has been able to put her common sense, caring for kids and personal values over the onslaught from the Industry Left. She stood up to the pressure to accept a new curriculum that was rife with LBGTQ and CRT. She has noted the Racial Messaging in the Advanced Placement Math Curriculum being considered for purchase by the district. Most recently, she stood up to the rest of the board on approving the return of books full of pornography to our libraries; she voted NO. She listens to her constituents! I know Jackie, I supported her when she ran the first time, and we need her there now!

District 4:

I am supporting Candidate Thomas Kenny: Thomas Kenney is not and never has been in the system. He was in private industry, a communicator, an ordained minister, and he truly cares about this country, community and our kids. I met Thomas at school board meetings where he spoke out about the issues we all feel strongly about. Thomas gets it. His website is and he’s on Facebook.

I hope you will support these candidates with your donations and your vote! They are far superior to any of their opponents.

As a long-time college basketball fan, I like to harken back to Jimmy V’s (NC State basketball coach) Espy Awards speech. He was fighting cancer with the verve he gave to coaching and famously declared “Don’t Give Up! Don’t Ever Give Up!” We won’t!

Susan Mehiel

Supporting Dr. Karen Hiltz for the FL House

The next School Board meeting is Monday, April 25. If you would like to comment, please have your request form in by 5:45 pm that day.

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