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Diana Santos, The News & Observer

As America marks National School Choice Week from Jan. 22-28, North Carolina can look to my son, Brenden Santos, as a shining example of why education options for students and families are so important.

Brenden is a student at North Carolina Virtual Academy, an online public charter school authorized by the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction. Brenden experienced bullying at his brick-and-mortar school in Raleigh. This experience prompted us to enroll him at NCVA. It also inspired my son to spread a message of peace and anti-bullying across the nation.

Brenden is now the author of three books that promote friendship and kindness. Last year, Brenden even launched AgainstTheBullying.com, in support of his bullying prevention mission.

I am proud of Brenden’s quest for a bully-free world. Watching him learn, grow and overcome the torment of bullying within the safe haven of NCVA’s online classroom has been a remarkable journey. Witnessing Brenden blossom and channel his experiences into social advocacy is nothing short of inspiring.

This opportunity was only available to my son because of school choice. Support for school choice exists across the political spectrum and is rooted in the firm belief that parents know their children best.

Our children are the leaders of tomorrow. Therefore, we must do everything we can to give them the best education possible. A critical element toward achieving this goal is expanding school choice for students like Brenden in North Carolina and throughout the nation.

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