Standing Up for Safe Schools

I stood for election in 2019 to bring my experience as a primary care provider to the Bend-La Pine School Board. I did not then imagine I would spend my first term helping guide our district through a global pandemic while hiring a new superintendent. And yet the overlapping challenges of these last several years have reinforced the very belief that inspired me to run in the first place: Healthy communities begin with healthy schools.

As your representative on the school board, I have been an outspoken defender of public health and public safety. That means providing all members of the district staff – from nutrition services to transportation – the resources they need to protect themselves as well as the children in their care. It means connecting families to the resources they need to support their kids at home and get them to school safely. And it means working with community partners and stakeholders to promote the physical, emotional, and economic well-being of our people, during the pandemic and beyond.

For example, along with my fellow board members, I successfully advocated for the implementation of measures to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 so we could re-open schools safely, including prioritizing vaccines for K-12 students and staff. Consequently, Bend-La Pine Schools was the first major district in Oregon to resume in-person learning.

More recently, thanks to a bond measure passed by voters last November, we have been able to accelerate efforts to upgrade security. These efforts will reduce the risk of a tragedy like the 2022 mass shooting in Uvalde, Texas. No parent should have to fear their child might be murdered at school.

Our schools have long played an enormous role in the health and wellness of our communities, but never has that role been more prominent, or more divisive, than since the emergence of COVID-19. As we work together to address profound learning loss and trauma, we must aspire to an education system that is safer, healthier, and more just than the one we inherited.

Learn more about the Bend-La Pine School Board and contact us here.

Friends of Amy Tatom (22682)

P.O. Box 7921, Bend, OR 97708