Beaumont Politics vs Educational Foundation

The Joan Abbott Educational Foundation for Beaumont has become a victim of local politics. The Beaumont Spirit Run is also at risk. The Spirit Run is an apolitical event that was very successful last year in bringing our community together. For one day, the entire community put their differences and political opinions aside and had fun. Anyone witnessing the youngest of our children racing in the 1k run, knew that this day and event was something special.

The proceeds of the Spirit Run benefited the parent groups in our schools. We presented them with money to provide their individual school with activities, supplies and equipment our public school administrations no longer support. Field trips, assemblies and playground equipment are just some of the things the parent groups were able to provide with the Spirit Run money.

Because of my efforts to increase parent involvement in our schools, I have been labeled a threat. Over the last four years, I have been asking questions of our schools’ administration, that no one else wants to ask; questions about how our kids’ resources are being used. Because of my efforts, our community’s “leaders” have used my involvement with the Beaumont Spirit Run to withhold their support. Rather than support my efforts or, at the very least, engage me and other concerned parents in a public discussion, some in our community have determined the Run should be a target for their frustrations.

Last weekend, my co-founders of the Spirit Run, told me they believed my association with the Spirit Run has made fund raising efforts difficult. They believe my efforts in addressing concerns I have about the actions of our school district’s administration have not only had a negative impact on the Spirit Run but may also impact their personal livelihoods. They further believe other members of our community are resistant to support the Spirit Run if I am involved.

It is important that what we started last year continue into the future and that the Spirit Run doesn’t become a victim of local politics. I, and the other founders, feel it is in the best interest of the Spirit Run for me to no longer be involved. The last thing I want is for the Spirit Run to fail because of my connection. Therefore I have agreed to resign my position on the Spirit Run organizing committee.

The Spirit Run, and what it stands for, is and continues to be very important to me. My co-founders are the true driving force behind the run; it is because of their support and dedication that I believed we could take the next step and launch the educational foundation. Without their support and the connection to the Spirit Run, I no longer believe the educational foundation is viable. The Joan Abbott Educational Foundation has been shut down before it ever had a chance to get started.

It has been suggested to me that I might be able

“to find a way to work with our district office which focuses on accountability and maintaining a positive partnership environment.”

I would welcome a positive partnership. This has always been my goal but it takes two to make a partnership. I have tried to encourage the administration to cooperate with parents and to increase their involvement. Every time I try to bring a parent’s perspective to the actions of the administration, I am met with resistance and then I am accused of being negative.

I helped to establish something positive with the Spirit Run and I donated my time and my own money to start an educational foundation for Beaumont. It’s a shame that my efforts to keep the school district focused on what is best for our kids is used against the Spirit Run and the people involved. I will continue to do what I think is right for our kids and I will not be discouraged by anyone. I will not allow local politics to deter me and I hope we will all do what we can to prevent local politics from harming the Spirit Run.