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Wisconsin Convention of State Supporter Wins Raymond School Board Seat

Published in Blog on November 26, 2022 by Mary Kidney

Gwen Keller, a mom of two students attending Raymond WI Elementary School, found several highly disagreeable books in her school library.  One included the “F” word 49 times!  

Gwen is a Convention of States Petition signer and decided to run for Raymond School Board to return her school to self-governance.  

In May of 2021 she started attending school board meetings and voicing her opinions. Gwen Keller was in the minority, but she did find like-minded families and community members that supported her positions and began connecting with other parents more formally in her home in August 2021. As a group, they devised some action plans which involved talking more to teachers beginning at an open house, and for Gwen, a lengthy conversation with the school librarian.

Gwen’s focus became what was available to the children in the school library. There were materials she as a parent did not want available to her children and wanted parents to have a say in this. She researched more thoroughly the books available in the school and found three titles deemed inappropriate for her children (or any child) to read. Going through school channels, she was eventually able to have all three removed. 

Gwen discovered that governance had become upside down. Properly, she described, the community elects a school board which sets the policies and directs the administration to carry out these policies. She found through her parent activism that the power channels are backwards, ultimately stripping parents of their say unless a community member inserts themselves into the process and fights for a different outcome than a teacher-directed policy dictates.

After finding success in her efforts and support from the community, she decided to run for the Raymond Board of Education. Last April she campaigned and was elected to the school board.  She quickly learned the means to work within a school board, including Roberts Rules, in order to bring items to the agenda. She soon started a committee for examining library material. 

One example of material offered (to second graders!) was “Arthur’s Gay Wedding” video. Through her leadership, the library policy has been updated to include a permission slip for children to have access to young adult materials, giving parents the control rightly theirs. 

Gwen signed the petition for Convention of States in 2021. For her the grassroots movement that is Convention of States is precisely the way to bring our country back to its intended governance, with power residing in the hands of the electorate as the Constitution has purposed. She understands the power of grassroots activism and is successfully making a difference to rebalance power structures in her local community. 

Thank you to Gwen for her courage and determination and for being a Convention of States supporter.

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