Talk in the 10: School Board Thoughts Part II – by Scott Jensen

Fremont County is large, diverse, and filled with opinions, or “talk in the 10.” “Talk in the 10” is an opportunity for you, our readers, to articulate and share your thoughts about what is happening in the community with the community. Letters may have been edited for clarity and length, but generally have been published exactly as received. The views expressed in the following are solely those of the author. Send your letters to our editors by emailing opi[email protected]

Recently County 10 published an opinion piece full of lies and half truths that accused me specifically and the Fremont County School District #1 Board of Trustees (Lander School Board) as a whole of having “a history of making harmful decisions.”  It further accused me personally of playing an “insidious game under the disguise of niceness” and gaslighting, apparently for having the audacity to discuss school governance (library policies and practices) in an open, public meeting.  If the school board cannot discuss and be involved in school governance, who can?  Unfortunately my service on the Lander School Board has opened me to being a target of both public and private attacks by a vocal minority in Lander who would like to silence me.  This won’t work.

Please let me share a bit about my background and how I came to serve on the Lander School Board.  I was raised in Wyoming and have lived in Lander for almost 8 years.  I have spent a majority of my adult life in public service.  I am a veteran of the U.S. Army and have spent the last 17 years as a law enforcement officer.  I am a husband and father.  I have seven children.  Two of those seven children were first fostered and subsequently adopted.  I am a man of faith and actively attend and serve in my church.  

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A little over three years ago I started serving our community as a member of the Lander School Board.  I was first appointed and then elected to this volunteer unpaid position for which I sacrifice my time and energy.  I do this because our schools are of vital importance, both to me personally and to our community.  My children have attended all of our schools except Pathfinder and Jeffrey City.  My wife and I have been pleased with the educational experience our children have received.  

Lander’s schools are full of dedicated and excellent teachers and staff.  But still there is room for improvement.  I doubt you could find anyone working in our district who would say everything is perfect and nothing should change.  Make no mistake, I am looking for incremental changes that can be made that will improve on the already excellent education offered in Lander. 

What are my “insidious” plans?  Simply this, adhering to the principle of parental rights in school.  I believe that parental rights and involvement are critical to the success of children in our public schools.  Policies and procedures should be crafted and implemented in a way that respects the natural right of parents to act as the guardians of their children.  Our schools need to recognize (and usually do) that parents are the most invested and able to make the best decisions about the education of their children.  Our schools should support parents in educating kids, not undermine them.  It is through this lens that I view the policies that govern our school district.  I have been and will continue to be a voice for parents and I will advocate for policies that recognize parental rights.

I would love to discuss our schools with any concerned member of our community.  You can find my contact information on the district website.

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Scott Jensen
Vice-Chairman 
Fremont County School District #1 Board of Trustees

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