Letter To The Editor: In Support And Defense Of Nickole Garcia

By JOYCE ANDERSON
Founder, Save Los Alamos
Former teacher & current home educator

I’m writing today in support and defense of Nickole Garcia, who has applied to fill the vacancy on the school board.

In a letter published earlier today, Richard Skolnik accused Ms. Garcia of statements made about Dr. Anthony Fauci in my private Facebook group, Save Los Alamos. Mr. Skolnik failed to provide a link of where those comments were made, or a screen shot of the entire comment thread, so that people could have some context. Mr. Skolnik is also not a member of my group. His information is either second-hand gossip or false.

As the founder of the Save Los Alamos Facebook group, I have interacted with many in the Los Alamos community for over six years on a wide variety of issues that affect our community. With few exceptions the interactions in my group have been professional and cordial. We have different opinions, but we actually like each other and get along.

Ms. Garcia has been a valued member of my group for many years. She has never used profanity, disparaged other members of the group, gossiped about the group, or shared conspiracy theories. She has graciously shared her opinion on many topics, including how COVID has been handled in our country, state and county.

One of the greatest things about the United States is that we have a vast diversity of opinion and thought. We share our thoughts with our neighbors and still remain friends. If someone disagrees with Dr. Fauci, which many in Los Alamos do, that’s perfectly fine. Not everyone wants to see COVID panic porn continually peddled in the public square. We’re up for a healthy debate, but let’s actually talk about things we trace back to a primary source.

Nickole is the mother of four school aged kids, kids who attend Los Alamos Public Schools. Her kids range in age from high school down to elementary school. She has been very well placed over this COVID year to see the impacts COVID policies from the national level and state level have affected our students. I have valued her experience and opinion as a mother, but also as a home educator, as I have struggled to educate my children, and to make up where LAPS has failed them over this last school year. Her advice and wisdom have been most welcome.

Nickole knows that New Mexico ranks 50th in educational outcomes and that the state’s COVID response and policies gravely hurt our students. As a community it is urgent that we look forward to the 2021-22 school year and stop engaging in petty spit-balling in the comments on Facebook. It is imperative that we as a community choose leaders who will be willing to choose curriculum and develop policies that help our kids catch back up with basic core subjects like reading, math, science, social studies and writing.

Arguing about second-hand information that may or may not have been said in a private Facebook group will not help our students.

I ask that the members of the school board choose Nickole Garica to fill the vacancy on our school board. She is a mother, a valued member of our community, and ready to work to help our kids be the best they can be.

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