Several months ago, my daughter came home from diving practice. She had only been diving for a couple of weeks but was loving it, until that day.  Instead of saying hello, she ran past me sobbing and shut herself in her room. When I went to see what was wrong she tearfully showed me that her backpack, shoes, and clothing (including her undergarments), had been ransacked and some extremely vulgar comments were inscribed with black marker.  She was devastated and violated. I was furious and heartbroken for my child.

Over the next several weeks my fury at the school turned to frustration as call after call and email after email to the school and the resource officer was met with an inability to do anything.  How was it that they couldn’t do anything?  Both the lawyer and the mom in me were not going to let this go.  I needed to know why and how such a flagrant violation and act of aggression against a 13-year-old on school property could not be solved or answered or more thoroughly investigated.

Very quickly, my frustration dissipated.  I realized that, in my ways, our educators although compassionate, simply were unable to do anything else. What I learned is they had to adhere to the multiple restraints placed upon them. These restraints are not just laws or corporation rules, but also the image public schools now have to uphold as public schools fight for every dollar they can get as our state’s voucher programs siphons money away from them each year. This is wrong.  How can they educate, protect, and empower our children, when they don’t feel protected and empowered.  This realization, this moment, this was when I decided to run for State Representative in District 37.

We need change, and it’s time to do something about it.  I have never been one to sit on the sidelines and accept things that I can’t change.  I will work ferociously to ensure the issues we deal with in our community every day are addressed and resolved.  We not only need our educators to have resources to teach and protect our children but also feel empowered to develop a better, more capable next generation.  Every school should have the funding it needs to provide the technology and resources our children need not just to survive, but to compete and flourish in today’s world.  The minimum bar should be that every child, regardless of background, economic hardships, or neighborhood, has the same educational opportunities in every community in Indiana.  Our future, quite literally, depends on it.

If you are committed to a better Indiana and a better future for our children, vote for me, Aimee Rivera Cole, for State Representative District 37.  It’s time to do something about it!

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