UTICA, N.Y. (WUTR/WFXV/WPNY) – With the Utica School Board Election just one week away, the Cornhill Neighborhood Association held a meet the candidates event on May 11th. All six candidates were present and were asked about the role of the code of conduct in the district and if it is too harsh on students. The candidates also discussed the new budget which brought up a discussion regarding whether money should be allocated to a raise for the superintendent over other funding.

“I think we covered some really important issues I think its important we know their thinking about the budget and how they think its going to be executed,” said Freddie Hamilton, moderator of the debate.

Young students from the district attended and asked questions about encouraging diversity in the district as well as their opinions on if critical race theory should be taught in schools. Hamilton expressed that she is impressed with the number of youth that participated.

“We really need our youth to become involved and to really listen not just on social media but just to be in the audience and listen to the people,” said Hamilton.

Hamilton expressed the concern of representation on the school board, and hopes that this issue can be solved after Tuesday’s election.

“Many of the parents are marginalized and feel that they don’t get to get information or get help with their children. we have the highest rate of suspensions in the school district young kids from corn hill. so its important for us to know that the people who are trying to represent us understand these things and I’m really encouraged by all of the responses that we got from the candidates,” said Hamilton

The Utica School Board Election takes place next Tuesday May 17th.