Angelique Contreras: Returning power to the parents in Palm Beach County

Angelique Contreras School Board District 4 HeadshotAngelique Contreras, a candidate for nonpartisan Palm Beach School Board, District 4, has one agenda: returning power to parents, bettering education for children, and ultimately improving the United States of America, a country she loves.

For Contreras, a Palm Beach County resident, wife, and mother of three children, aged eleven, four, and two, activism began with vaccines. For years, she fought for informed consent for parents, recognizing their right to know and understand what is in childhood vaccines “I just felt that the system, for eleven years, has not permitted parents to be fully informed about what’s being given to their children.”

That attitude helped pave the way for the COVID-19′ Scamdemic,’ as I call it. In May of 2020, our first fight at the Palm Beach County Commissioner’s Meeting was to open our beaches. 

In early 2020, when Palm Beach County schools were thrust into quarantine, Contreras noticed that her eldest child was missing out on an education. A few months into it, her eleven-year-old found some friends in the neighborhood with whom she began spending time. Then, Palm Beach County schools announced that the children would not be going back into the schools but instead participate in virtual learning. The district was using Brain POP to teach children that Che Guevara, a revolutionary Cuban Marxist, was someone they should idolize. 

For Contreras, whose grandfather and family escaped from Cuba, this came as a shock. When she called the teacher to explain why it was inappropriate to teach children to idolize Guevara, she replied, “Well, it’s National Hispanic Heritage Month, and we’re teaching the children about these revolutionaries.” The second eye-opening experience for Contreras was the need for parents to band together and fight for brick-and-mortar schools to open again, an effort that succeeded in August 2020. 

Contreras’ final motivation to run for Palm Beach County School Board in District 4 occurred when the Palm Beach County School Board passed an equity statement with the mission of dismantling schools structured in “white advantage.” Disturbed by its racism, she and other parents attended the school board meeting to urge them to focus on improving academics, not obsessing over skin color. According to Contreras, the children were struggling with online learning. And when they got back to class, they didn’t get to see their friends’ faces or communicate properly with their teachers. “They were thrown into something that they’ve never had to experience in their childhood. I felt like it was completely robbing them of their innocence and what a school day should look like,” she says. 

“The School Board believes our school system is racist and full of inequalities. So, they will take from ‘white-advantaged’ students and give to the less fortunate students. In my mind, I go back to my family history and what equity did to Cuba. It was the same thought, ‘We’re going to take from the rich and give to the poor. And somehow, we’re going to create some equality for everyone.’ And it didn’t happen. In my family, we lost our homes, our farmland, everything. My cousin was shot down from a tree that he played in his entire life. That’s the lie of equity. Unfortunately, it’s being pushed through K-12 schools now.”

Angelique Contreras School Board District 4 Speaking at MeetingWhile Contreras has countless reasons for running for the School Board, for her, it all comes down to the proper education of children and the preservation of their innocence. “We’re thrusting adult ideas into their minds and robbing them of a proper school experience because we’re not teaching them the basics of reading, writing, and arithmetic first.” 

It’s no wonder then that a candidate for each district has stepped up to overtake the current school board, which consistently votes 7-0 against the wishes of the parents they represent, the same people who pay their salaries.  

To get her name on the ballot, Contreras needs a total of 1,800 petition signatures from voters. Thus far, she has collected about one-thousand petition signatures ahead of the June deadline. Because of redistricting, any resident of Florida can sign the petition. The nonpartisan election takes place on August 23, which means anybody can vote for the candidate of their choice in private. 

For more information about Angelique Contreras, visit her website, www.votecontreras.com.

You may also want to read: Amanda Silvestri: 2022 is the year of the parents, putting kids first

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