Letter to the editor: Your vote can make a difference

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I am a Hockinson parent with two children currently attending Hockinson schools. There are many reasons I will be voting yes on the upcoming replacement levy on Feb. 8, but there is one reason in particular that I would like to share.

I went to school in Littleton, Colorado. In 1999, I was a junior in high school. On April 20, I was in math class five miles away from Columbine. When we went into lockdown, I remember holding my best friend in tears, the drone of helicopters as they passed overhead, watching the footage unfold on a classroom television. We didn’t have cell phones. We didn’t know until later.

That day changed me. It changed all of us. I never want our kids to know what it’s like to truly fear going to school because I do. Our schools should be where our kids run to, not run from.

Now, more than ever, our kids need opportunities to come together with their peers and with this community, in real time and real space. Growing up was hard enough without Instagram and TikTok. Social media, while designed to bring us together, can also be a source of disconnect and create a sense of isolation, real or imagined, for adults and kids alike.

Our kids need spaces and places in our Hockinson schools to be seen, heard and validated. They need our support as parents, as teachers, coaches, mentors, neighbors and community members.

Clubs, sports, music, art, dance, theater, counselors, nurses, all of these activities and resources are largely funded by our levy dollars, not the state, and provide a chance for our kids to not only grow academically, but also socially and emotionally, and connect in meaningful ways which is of even more importance after a year of isolation and quarantine.

Our kids are struggling. Your vote can make a difference.

Please vote yes for the upcoming levy replacement. Please invest in our schools, in our students and in the future of Hockinson.

Jamie Hebert,

Brush Prairie

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