To the Editors:
When it comes to working for: equality for all students, a school environment free of bullying, a school culture that is affirming and safe for all students, more involvement, open communication with families, and an administration that really cares about our young people and show it by the work they do, I strongly believe that Shannon Cuttle has done that, and will be a needed advocate for our young people as a member of the SOMA Board of Education.
As a former Maplewood resident and Executive Director of the Newark LGBTQ Community Center, I know many folks in NJ have been made aware of the issues of bullying and students’ equal rights through the hard work of Shannon. On their own and in collaboration with other individuals and community organizations, Shannon’s tireless work has already made a difference.
Shannon was instrumental in helping with the programming and outreach at the Newark LGBTQ Center through their work with GSE, and as a volunteer. They believe in working to make sure all our youth have the tools and learning atmosphere needed to grow and develop into the people we need to make our world a better place.
Just yesterday, in response to a recent attack on a student in a school hallway, Shannon’s Facebook post speaks to the issues close to their heart and mind: “This is heartbreaking. We need to ask ourselves, what are we doing to create a climate and culture that is safe, welcoming and affirming for all students?”
These are the questions that need answers, action, and implementation, and that is why we need Shannon Cuttle on the SOMA Board of Education.
Reverend Janyce Jackson Jones