Crystal Jones Bacon

Crystal Jones Bacon is one of nine candidates vying for three spots on the Bonita Unified School District Governing Board. Photo: Rommel Alcantara

What inspired you to run for School Board?
With my younger daughter’s transition to San Dimas High School, now both my daughters are on the same school schedule. I can focus my time on the public school system like I have the private school system for the past 7 years. I truly believe and understand that children are the change in the world and the future, and we need to invest in them a lot more and give them a voice.

What experience do you have that would make you a good board member?
I have school experience as secretary of the PTA for SDHS and as secretary of the Bingo Committee for SDHS (one of the booster clubs of SDHS). In my career, I am constantly analyzing contracts and policy, and those are skills that would enable me to support our students and staff to make the best decisions.

What do you think we can do to keep our students safe and savvy in a more digital and technological environment?
Parents need to be aware of what their students are doing and what is available to them. We should offer trainings to parents and give advice about apps and trends so that they understand. A large number of students find themselves in unfortunate situations (i.e., websites that aren’t appropriate for them, photos, predators). Schools need to be more proactive so students are aware and speaking up when things are not appropriate. 

What milestones would need to be reached in order for you to be comfortable with schools reopening and staying open?
I agree with the state’s guidelines. I think that unfortunately it’s different in every situation, but we live in LA county where it is highly and densely populated. So we need to be aware. One slight uptick with a school with thousands of students can be devastating. And as for staying open, we’d just have to maintain the same. We are not playing the stock market and risking money. We are risking the lives of students and family members so we need to remain trending down. I’d rather be safe than sorry. I’d rather maintain the course until we are 100% sure we are ready to open up again. 

What other top issues do you care about?
Reimagining success. My thoughts are that it’s not trying to fit our square students into a circle hole. The idea of success that society has with 2.3 children, a dream job, big house–this is not success for everyone. We need to guide them on their own individual path. Trade school, the arts–there are so many pathways that children can take. We have this idea that this is what it’s supposed to be, and that’s not for everyone. The excessive amounts of AP classes–they are burning out before they graduate and not wanting to go to four year university. We do a disservice to them to push them to do every sport, be in the top ten, and get a high GPA. There must be balance.

What is an interesting fact about yourself that your supporters may not already know?
I had a pet pig named Hamilton Bacon-no pun intended! He is currently living in a pig sanctuary and living the piggy dreams of his life with lots of space and other animals. I raised him from 5 weeks old to about 4 years old.

Interviews were edited for clarity.

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