Representative Carrick batting during the annual legislative softball game last weekend.
FNSBSD Board Policy Committee
Recently, it was brought to my attention that the Fairbanks North Star Borough School District adopted a troubling regulation that would require school personnel to share information on a student’s gender identity with parents and guardians. There are several glaring issues with this regulation, but fundamentally this change reflected a bad public process. This change occurred without any input from the community. This regulation is now being implemented without the consultation of our school board.
This regulation is similar to the aptly nicknamed “don’t say gay” legislation currently being considered by the Legislature, specifically House Bill 105 which I have discussed in a previous Carrick Capitol Connection. Invasions of a student’s right to privacy like those in House Bill 105 or this new regulation from school district administration have no place in our school district. Further, this change opens our school district up to a lawsuit.
There is a legal memo from Legislative Legal Services questioning the legality of the policy in House Bill 105 and outlining a student’s right to privacy. Page two of that memo explains that:
“Because disclosure of a student’s status as a transgender or gender non-conforming student could, at a minimum, cause embarrassment, humiliation, and anxiety, and in more severe instances subject the student to harassment or other harm, it is likely that a court would conclude that a transgender or gender non-conforming student has a fundamental privacy interest in the students status as a transgender or gender non-conforming student.”
Helping Students By Getting Involved
With policies like these coming from both the State and the School District, now is a great time for folks to get involved. To that end, the Fairbanks North Star Borough School District is currently soliciting applications from persons interested in serving as volunteer committee members on the School Board’s Policy Committee. The Policy Committee is recruiting two parent seats and four community member seats. All seats are two-year terms. The Policy Committee will act in a review capacity regarding proposed policy changes in the school district. If you are interested in serving on this committee, please complete this form online. For more information, visit the Fairbanks North Star Borough School District page. If you need help with the application, please feel free to reach out to my office at 907-465-4976 or by responding to this email.
In Search of Alaska Youth Doing Good in their Communities
Alaska Communications and Boys & Girls Clubs – Alaska are seeking youth who may be considered heroes for making a positive difference in their Alaska community. Through the Summer of Heroes program, up to six selected youth each will be awarded a $2,000 scholarship through Alaska 529 and given special recognition in their local communities.
Anyone can nominate a young hero in their life. Tell them about a child or teen, age 6-18, who is improving life for those around them. Whether it was to support others, volunteering where there was an important need or an ongoing effort, or taking action on other’s needs before their own, Summer of Heroes aims to shine a spotlight on youth who are doing good around us. Individuals and businesses are encouraged to nominate Alaska youth by submitting a nomination form by June 18.
In addition to providing youth scholarships and recognition, the Summer of Heroes program also supports the leading youth development programs at the Boys & Girls Clubs – Alaska. In appreciation of their efforts, Alaska Communications pledges to donate $25 to Boys & Girls Clubs – Alaska for every new residential or business internet connection between May 1 and June 18, 2023, up to $15,000 total. Learn more about the Summer of Heroes program and obtain a nomination form online.
Alaska Fellows Program
The Alaska Fellows Program (AFP) is a fall-to-spring residential fellowship program that nurtures the next generation of Alaska-based leaders by pairing talented young people with strong communities and professional mentors. Initially launched with a small pool of Yale graduates in 2014, the program now boasts alumni from 35 states and seven countries and hosts fellows in Anchorage, Juneau, Sitka and Fairbanks. Forty-six percent of alumni continue to live and work in Alaska for a year or more following their fellowships, which is a great positive to help stop youth and young adult migration from Alaska. The Alaska Fellows Program is currently recruiting for the 2023-2024 program term. There are several positions open in Fairbanks and they are listed below.
Prospective fellows can learn more and apply HERE.
My Staff and I Are Here for You!
We value your opinions on the issues impacting our community so please feel free to reach out to me and my office regarding any topics of interest or concern. Please also send us any community events or opportunities that you think we should elevate on our e-newsletter platform or on social media. We are happy to help and are always here for you!