WXXI AM News

19 year old runs for Greece School Board

May 7, 2018

One of the candidates for the Greece School Board is a recent graduate of the district himself.

19 year old Derek Schrank is a member of the Greece Arcadia High School Class of 2017. Now, he's majoring in communications and journalism at SUNY Geneseo.

Schrank says most people he talks to have positive things to say about his candidacy.

"The only negative that I really get is, 'You don't pay property taxes,' which is a fair counter argument." Schrank commutes to school and lives with his parents. "But what I often say to that is, that is true, but there are eight other board members. They all pay property taxes. If I'm elected I'll be one of nine that does not pay property taxes."

Schrank advocates for a stronger student voice in decision making within the district. He also has strong opinions about how to make schools safe from gun violence. Schrank is opposed to arming teachers.

"I don't think we pay teachers enough to have them to do that; even if they're willing to and volunteering to, it's not appropriate. I don't have kids, but if I did, I wouldn't be comfortable with their teacher having a gun in the classroom."

Instead, Schrank favors investing in mental health services, social/emotional learning, and school resource officers who can provide protection and forge positive relationships with students so they have good feelings about law enforcement.

Schrank is one of six school board candidates vying for three open seats. The election is May 15.