My name is Simran Kaur and I am running for Tracy School Board because I am passionate about building a district where everyone can thrive. My vision is to form a district that serves all students while taking care of teachers and parent’s needs. In an ever-changing society, we must ensure our students are given the best opportunity to succeed. Being an immigrant from India, I have seen firsthand how access and opportunity can change a child’s path and ultimately their whole life.
I was born in India and came to the United States when I was 15 years old. I earned a Bachelor’s of Science Degree in Biology at San Francisco State University and a Juris Doctorate at McGeorge School of Law. While in law school, I interned with the San Joaquin County District Attorney’s Office, where I was able to become an integral part of this community. Since that day, I knew I would be devoting my life to this community. I became a permanent member of the San Joaquin County District Attorney’s Office in 2016 where I am currently serving as a Deputy District Attorney.
Since my husband and I moved to Tracy, I have volunteered my time and energy to bettering this community. I have learned we must provide our students with tools and resources to overcome social,economic, and educational challenges so they can thrive in their lives. It is imperative for us to focus on our students because ultimately they are our future. While engaging within our community, I have identified some of the areas I believe require attention:
Breaking the School to Prison Pipeline
While working as a Deputy District Attorney, it has become clear to me how significantly a child’s background, neglect or interactions, contribute to their contact with the criminal justice system. According to the Adverse Childhood Experience (“ACE”) study, “Childhood experiences, both positive and negative, have a tremendous impact on future violence victimization and perpetration, and lifelong health and opportunity.”
I want to take effective steps to lower the number of youth who enter the criminal justice system because I believe we can help those youth. To intervene now and help high-risk students caters to the best interest of the students and, ultimately, the best interest of our future.
We need preventive measures so we can lower the number of youth needing criminal justice system intervention. We need a school system that is equipped in providing students counseling and the help they need.
Ensuring higher percentage of students attend college
One of the biggest issues facing the Tracy School Unified District is the number of students attending college. The number of Tracy students attending college after high school is alarmingly low. Proportionally, our community sends significantly fewer students to college in comparison to other communities in California.
We need to find ways to encourage a greater number of our students to continue their education in college and to support our parents and teachers in equipping those students.
Focus on mental health of students and Eradicate bullying
Working with children in our local community, I have learned we must do a better job protecting them from bullying. Bullying and mental health go hand in hand. Generally, students who are bullied suffer from mental health issues as a result. To solve this, I will champion a multi-district program that builds bridges of collaboration throughout the county to address the individual needs of our students.
We need to do a better job of bringing cultural awareness. This can be remedied by bringing community leaders to schools and providing materials or brief presentations about different cultures.
Additionally, a growing concern across our district has been mental health among our students. We need to fully understand the complexity of this issue and ensure the safety of our children.
Securing understanding and support for parents, teachers, and school district employees
We need to provide opportunities to parents and school district employees to have their voices heard. Further, it is my intention to secure better understanding between parents, teachers, and the administration since everyone wants to help students do what is in their best interest.
It is my intention to work as a bridge between these parties to ensure we can together build a district that thrives. It is my goal to bring pride back to the Tracy School Unified District through providing quality education and creating a place where teachers and staff take pride in their district.