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ELECT CANDIDATES TO TODD COUNTY SCHOOL BOARD WHO CARE ABOUT LAKOTA STUDENTS

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COUNCIL REPORT

By Rep. Richard “Tuffy” Lunderman

As always, the opinions expressed herein are my own.

It is highly critical that tribal members get to the voting polls and participate in the next Todd County School District, Board of Education election.

To be eligible to vote, you simply have to be a registered voter in Todd County.

It is important to elect candidates who have a real interest in education and believe in education reform on the Rosebud Sioux Indian Reservation. It is simply not enough just to be a tribal member anymore.

The opportunity to reform local education readily exists, but the current leadership claiming public education in Todd County School District, doesn’t believe reform is necessary, especially if reform means including more Lakota culture.

Today, the education that is being delivered to our student tribal members is not relevant nor appropriate. I am not saying there has not been some change, but when significant, even drastic change is required, then “status quo” ceases to be a good policy.

Other effective alternative educational models exist and need to be provided to present-day Lakota families. The basic philosophy of public education here is primarily racist. So, if a board of education professes to deliver education with the same ineffective curriculum, using the same ineffective methods, I guess this pretty much speaks for itself.

Unfortunately, we continue to put individuals in positions of authority who believe these fundamentally racist educational models are the best available for our students.

Educational research data documents the ineffectiveness and inappropriateness of the public education model as it applies to Lakota students, yet alternative educational models are discouraged by the state of South Dakota.

Who should decide what relevance and appropriateness are? I believe such definitions should be determined by those who are affected the most—our tribal citizens and, not the least, tribal government.

So, please take education seriously and vote in the next TC School Board election and select two new members to serve on the board who really care about Lakota students. Care is shown through the actions and decisions of the board.

The majority on the current Board of Education seem hell-bent on preserving the status quo and keeping Lakota students from receiving an appropriate and relevant education.

Wopila!

/s/ Rep. Richard “Tuffy” Lunderman

RST Council

Rosebud Community

—Rep. Richard "Tuffy" Lunderman is serving his third year on the RST Council, representing Rosebud Community. He is up for reelection in the summer of 2015.

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