Three years ago I made the decision to run for the Buffalo School Board in the Park District. It was a decision that was made over a short time with the overall goal of getting more people involved in the process of the school board elections and the Buffalo Public Schools; creating more collaboration between all public school stakeholders I believed. I thought people would listen, my son at the time was a junior at South Park High school, I had lived in the Park district most of my life, worked in public education and had some success in the development and implementation of youth educational and recreational programming. People did listen; I had some in-depth conversations about the Buffalo Public Schools, charter schools and public education in general. I didn’t win, but it was never about winning, it was never about Carl Palidino; it was about starting a conversation about the issues of public education and formulating solutions through discussion. Since the time of that election, the participation in another and the years after I have continued that process through my Harris on Buffalo Public Schools Facebook page, Blog by the same name and my comments and discussion on education articles locally and throughout the country. I am also a father and always want to set an example to my three sons that you work through conviction, not adoration. I’m also not going to deceive the public by saying one thing in front of one person, and then the opposite in front of another; my body of work shows that. I also feel it’s important to represent all stakeholders and lift all up, not cause fear and apprehension. If you think it’s about winning and taking out the reformers that’s great, but that type of disposition will elicit a similar response in the future; further undermining the Buffalo Public Schools with back and forth assumption of power effecting not you, but our most “At Risk” individuals. I’m done with the dysfunction, the personal agendas, the hypocrisy, the power grabs and so are the people of the West District that I have spoken to thus far. I know I haven’t lived in the West District for long; but I’m not going anywhere, and to leave them with a choice of more dysfunction and hypocrisy will only disengaged them from the process of public education; as a resident who began on the premise to improve stakeholder engagement I cannot allow that to happen.
Adrian Fitzgerald Harris
Candidate Buffalo School Board (West District)