The Abilene Freedom League endorsed three candidates who are running for seats on the AISD School Board on May 7, 2022. Justin Anderson signed the Abilene Freedom League’s Elected Official Protection Pledge back in mid January. It’s a pledge which promises to protect Abilene students and staff against vaccine mandates, mask mandates, vaccine passports, unnecessary medical testing, other forced/coerced medical procedures, and to support all legislation which protects against them.
Justin enlisted in the US Army in 2009, was stationed in Germany as an infantryman in the 2d Cavalry Regiment, deployed for combat in Afghanistan, stationed at Ft. Bliss in Texas with the 1st Armored Division, promoted to sergeant in 2012, deployed a second time to Afghanistan a fire team and Stryker section, and was medically retired in 2016 from injuries sustained during service. Justin came back to Abilene and started a family. He now has three kids who are 4,6,and 9 years old and all are in AISD. When elected to the School Board Justin will stand with the parents to improve and protect their children and their education. He still stands for the oath he swore to the Constitution and the people of the USA. He believes in liberty including medical freedom. Justin holds himself and those around him to the values and morals he gained from his family and the military. They are LDRSHIP which stands for Loyalty, Duty, Respect, Self Service, Honor, Integrity, and Personal Courage. As a school board member his focus will be on Fiscal Responsibility, Transparency and Parent Communication, Accountability to Oath of Office, Justin was one of the three Abilene Freedom League endorsed candidates who showed up to the Hispanic Leadership Council forum on Tuesday, April 5. He brought hard facts and hard truths as he spoke about issues affecting the school board, students, teachers, and parents. He made it clear where he stands on all the issues listed above and that is the correct choice for place 6 on the school board. Here are some of his highlights from the forum.
What would you bring to the AISD board?
Justin wasted no time telling those in attendance what he brings to the table, saying with my military background I have worked with all sorts of Countries and Nationalities. In some of them, we didn’t have anyone to translate the language between us and we had to figure it out. It is that outside the box thinking that I would bring to the board. I would be asking questions and not just voting unanimously. That seems to be a huge problem as there is a lot of unanimous voting going on. The current board doesn’t have children in the system so their gauge of what’s going on is what they hear at a school board meeting or what their employees are telling them. Besides what we see is going on with our children, we can talk to other parents with kids in the system and have that parent to parent relationship. Leadership. There needs to be stronger leadership on the board. We need people who will stick to their guns when it comes to issues that affect our kids. Justin went on to add a response to what the current board members were saying, when he said so the current members are saying they’re looking ahead and looking back to see what they can fix but you have ten schools with a “C” grade, one school with a “D” grade, and one school with a “F” grade.
What are your thoughts on AISD’s special programs and are there any that you would add or remove?
He got right to the point when he said I think we need more career days with parents who come in and show there are many different fields to make money in. I think we need more early learning facilities. They talk about building new facilities but we don’t have enough early learning facilities and that is something we need to start looking into. He talked about the AP program and said currently 92% of the AP students are white and we should audit the selection process and find out why that is the case when 45% of the students are Hispanic. Something clearly isn’t working and taking the problem head on and figuring it out is the type of moves we need from our school board members.
Educators are going into retirement and career changes at a record pace. What plans or ideas do you have to fill the large number of vacancies in AISD?
Justin said that teacher retention and finding out what they need to stay here is very important. The teachers that I talk to say their biggest issue is administration. They feel that all the admin work is getting dumped on them. Now they are filling out three forms because they had to send a kid to the principal’s office. When I went to school it was a slip of paper that got filled out and sent to the office and that was that. There needs to be an adjustment in admin work load. Not just using the chain of command to send and receive information but they need to also be walking into the classrooms one on one, showing that they care and see what is going on. Sometimes you just have to get down in the trenches with the people and listen to what they have to say because what they have to say doesn’t match what your command structure says and I ran into that in the military. The Generals would go in on a surprise visit and catch what is going on wrong in the place. The admin is sending an email saying these board members are coming down and the principal says hurry and clean this place up. You know it is going on because every single place does it.
It is January 2023 and Abilene and the rest of the world is experiencing another pandemic. Number of cases, hospitalizations, and deaths are on the rise. The AISD administration is recommending such options as temporary school closings, virtual learning, and masks. What is your response to these recommendations and why?
This is something Justin took very seriously and he made his stance clear. He said you can’t just have a knee jerk reaction to it. Make a cold calculated decision. You can just jump up and say well this is what we’re going to do and then oh now we’re going to this and then this. Our district has been turned upside down because our routine has been changed. The children’s routine has been changed. This is the first relatively normal school year in two years. It takes a minute for things to start to get back to normal. At the same time, surrounding districts maintained at 90% for their academics and were still succeeding in spite of school closures. When you look at Abilene’s district it tanked horribly. I am not buying it. If the surrounding school districts could maintain, then we should have been able to as well. We need to look at these other places and see what they’re doing that is making them so successful. Then we have to look at ourselves and we have to be willing to accept the bad decisions we are making, have accountability for it, and then change it. Come out to the people and tell them, don’t hide it. Don’t make up excuses. Say we made a mistake and we’re going to implement this because it has been proven to work.
After one of the current school board members foolishly compared the pandemic to being in a war when it was more about fear created through propaganda, Justin took the opportunity to correct him. He said having been in a war, I like to remember those experiences good or bad because it makes me the person I am. It makes me and my friends who served resilient. I wouldn’t compare this pandemic to a war. People aren’t coming into a hospital maimed and missing parts. As for masking, unless you are wearing a chemical suit that you would see in a virology lab, you can catch it. Sorry, but unless you are wearing a sealed suit you are exposed. As for Vaccines, we barely went through any trial for that and now people are getting sick and dying from vaccine injuries. They’re coughing up blood clots and all sorts of stuff. Even the service members that had to take that, they’re dying. The military community is experiencing heart problems at an alarming rate that they have never experienced before.
Justin Anderson’s Closing Statement
He used this chance to drop all kinds of numbers and facts on the crowd, showing how poor the current school board has done. He said we need to focus internally on our district and how we get back to normal. I don’t think we need to be spending large amounts of money to do that. The district itself has more liabilities than assets. The expenditure per student is $10,000 and you’re spending $14,000. Last year you had 180.9 million dollars brought in for the district and you spent 244.7 million. The year before that they spent more than they brought in. They want all this new stuff and that is great but the facility doesn't make the education, the teacher makes the education. I’ve been to a Country where kids are going to school in a house of dirt with dirt floors getting an education. Some of those people come over here and become doctors so the facility does not make the education.
Justin’s opponent has been on the board since 2017 when he was appointed to a vacant position. Bill Enriquez has been a school board member for five years now. When asked what he brings it was more of the same old stuff about how things are good and he said we have rules and can’t make changes when the current board came under fire for their failures and inability to perform. He talked about creating opportunities for students through programs like plumbing and mechanic courses but said things are great and you can’t make students do what you want them to do in regards to discipline issues. He would later blame discipline issues for why teachers were leaving but already made it clear he and other current members have no desire to do anything about it. When it came to mandates he went full government shill. He tried to compare the polio vaccine to the covid vaccine. He has zero understanding about the vaccine or the damage it has done. He is one of those people who literally says if the government says jump, he says how high. He had the nerve to say “In my situation when it came to mask or no mask we took the mandate from the federal government. They said this is what needs to be done, this is what you will do, and that is what we did. All my kids wore masks. Even after they were off they still wore masks. He went on to talk about public air versus private air saying what you do in your home is up to you but when you walk outside that door, you’re invading everyone’s air so we need to be considerate about all of that.” This alone is reason enough to get this guy out of office. He doesn’t have a clue what he is talking about and his ignorance is putting teachers and more importantly, children in harm’s way. He had the worst response to the mandate issue.” On top of that he is clearly just a yes man who will go along with what the board wants to do. I don’t believe he is willing to stand up for anything.
Justin Anderson did a great job at the forum. He had calm, clear answers. He said what he meant and meant what he said. It is clear he is a man of high morals and principles and he will not compromise them just to get along. He has kids and thus skin in the game. He truly wants to do right by the district, its teachers, staff, and the children. Compared to his opponent, it isn’t even close. One has literally fought for your freedoms in the military and will continue to do that in this role and the other would give up any and every freedom for the mere illusion of safety. The Abilene Freedom League was right to endorse Justin Anderson and he is what we need as the place 6 board member. If you want to find out more about her, here are some important links. https://www.jandersonforaisd.com/
Written by Chris Turner Online Content Committee Chair
Sources: https://www.facebook.com/AbileneHispanicLeadershipCouncil/videos/1434820923644131 (Hispanic Leadership Council Forum)