Charlene Tabet

Why are you running for School Board?

As a long time resident of Burbank (57 years), an alumni of Burbank schools and a mother of 3 all of whom attended Burbank Schools I am running to continue the excellent education and experience that BUSD can provide students and families. I feel that my long tenure with the District allows me to have historical context of the needs and the direction of the district. Additionally, there are several projects that I have begun, such as our DEI committee work, facilities projects and dealing with the up and down budget situation.

What will you add to the School Board that is needed?

The Board needs my common sense/voice of reason on the Board. We will have one new board member who will need guidance and help as well

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI)

What is your view on how students should be taught DEI – should it be a curriculum designed and implemented by a specialized DEI instructor or should teachers receive special training and compensation to teach this curriculum? What do you see as the present and future of DEI curriculum in BUSD? What is the budget amount that you would support that would be put toward DEI curriculum
I do absolutely believe that our required reading list needs to be updated as soon as possible to reflect the cultural and ethnicity of our community. Students need to be comfortable learning and reading about characters that not only reflect them but also the diverse community we live in. I believe our first steps in working with DEI objectives is through educating and growing our adult leaders. We must bring to those adults an understanding that their words and actions, though unintentional, can cause pain and misunderstandings among their BiPOC students.

Climate Action in Schools

What is your assessment of current sustainability programs being implemented at the school and administrative levels?
How would you promote student involvement in BUSD sustainability and climate action programs?
Do you think that BUSD is properly addressing food waste? If not, what programs would you implement to reduce food waste district wide?
Do you feel that our schools have adequate green spaces for our students?

The Board just approved the Superintendent’s environmental committee which will be working to bring such programs to the Board. I’m very excited about this committee as it’s been a long time coming. I think at this point the environmental committee (which has a new name) should focus on larger projects that a whole school site can take part in such as recycling and lowering power usage classroom by classroom.
The whole City lacks green space, which makes it a further challenge to keep green space at sites. 

Controlling Bullying

What is your assessment of the current programs in place to address bullying? Are they successful? How would you change the programs?

What can BUSD do district wide to address and change a widespread culture of bullying?

What specific outreach do you think would be beneficial to students who are bullied?

Describe a program that you would create to address cyberbullying by and against students. How would it be implemented?

I think BUSD’s current program of Positive Behavior Intervention and Support (BPIS) has been very successful in all areas. Bullying is a very difficult behavior to curb because it's not always reported. I think taking the approach of pushing kindness with students while also encouraging students to be able to stand up for themselves is the best approach. Our mental health programs work with these students and these issues daily and that might be the only way to reduce the frequency of this age old problem

Policy for Continuing and Future Pandemics

How would you prepare BUSD for Covid surges? How would you communicate that plan so that parents, teachers and students feel fully prepared for how the District will respond?

What is your view of a masking policy if there is a surge during the school year?

What is your view on vaccine mandates for teachers, staff and students?

What steps does BUSD need to take to be prepared for possible new pandemics?

BUSD must follow all guidelines and mandates set by the county, so as far as formulating a plan, it would be to follow those guidelines. I believe in the science put forth and therefore feel that vaccinations for adults and employees are a must, however I don’t feel comfortable mandating vaccines for students (even if I feel that is the correct way) and would not want to mandate a vaccination for students.

Updating Curriculum

What is your opinion on the current curriculum in a general view? What specific areas need to be updated to a more modern curriculum? Do you think that BUSD is using modern techniques and current best practices? What criteria would you use to update any curriculum?
Our curriculum is set by the state and is usually crafted by the teaching staff and district leadership, not the School Board (who are not educators but representatives of the community who set broader policy.)

Contract with Teachers' Union

What is missing from the contract and what would you like to see added?
What are the current grounds for teacher termination and what do think should be added or deleted from that list?

I would like to see a floating holiday or two for Teachers to have for whatever reasons they need. Terminating a teacher is very difficult and takes a great deal of time, as it should. Teachers can be terminated for unusually odd behaviors, difficult interactions with students and out and out defiance after years of documenting these issues. 

Protecting LBGTQ+ Kids and Kids of Color

Beyond addressing bullying, what would you do as a member of the School Board to create an atmosphere in our schools of acceptance and understanding towards LBGTQ+ and BIPOC children? What actions would you take to create a safe space for children who are not white and cis-gender? How would you create more resources for mental health for all children and especially for the children who are dealing with unique culturally diverse issues?
Our high schools and middle schools have clubs and organizations so that students may enjoy the company of those who will support them and/or who are similar. It's always a safe space for all. I think this area is of need in our schools and I believe as we further our DEI work with adult staff members, this will become less of an issue and everyone on every campus will feel welcome and a part of that site’s community.

School Resource Officers (SROs)

What are your thoughts on SROs in schools?

I think that there is a place and at times even a need for SROs in our schools. However, there needs to be a reworking of thoughts on both sides (for and against) on the best use of their abilities and still have effective behaviors at our sites. Perhaps it's a more casual uniform and no gun. Perhaps it includes more involvement between the SRO office and the students in a friendly, fun situation that shows the human aspect of the SRO and not just someone who wants to get a student in trouble. Let's make this work!

Charter Schools

There currently are no Charter schools in Burbank. What is your position about bringing Charter schools to Burbank? What do you see as the strengths and weaknesses of Charter schools? If one or more Charter schools are opened here, how do you foresee that affecting the entire BUSD budget?
Why would we bring a charter school into Burbank? Charter schools usually are in communities where the local public schools lack rigor and/or extra programs. Burbank offers a very rigorous program of education in addition to Career Technical Education (CTE) classes. We have award winning Arts programs and Performing Arts programs. We have Academic Academies that are leaders in their programs statewide. Our schools are amazing and there is no need to bring in a Charter School.

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