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Sunday, August 1, 2021

Requiring masks should be the easiest decision DCPS makes, why its not is befuddling and scary.

 It is befuddling to me that health measures like wearing masks and vaccinations have become so divisive. In times of trouble, the citizens of the United States used to put aside their differences and do what is best for the country. Sadly those times were both a long time ago and gone. That being said, it is why leadership is important now.

Superintendent Greene, in an email t the district staff said, "  The governor announced today that he would be issuing an Executive Over to prevent school districts from mandating mask requirements for students.  Had it not been for this announcement, this 30-day mandate would be applied to all PreK-12 students as well and would extend for elementary students when indoors until such time as vaccinations are readily available and families can elect to have their students vaccinated. "

She says she disagrees with the governor, that if it were up to her, she would require masks for our students. She is saying she believes masks will help keep children safe and help stop them from potentially getting sick or worse. My question to the super and the community is if you believe masks are important, aren't you morally obligated to do everything you can to see children wear them in order to keep our children safe? How, on the one hand, can she say, masks will protect children, but on the other say, I am not going to require them because our governor, who is often dismissive of science, and who has peddled false information, says he doesn't want them, which seems to me to be a political calculation on his part, to increase and cement divisiveness rather than a position based on science. 

Both the CDC and the American pediatrics association have said that wearing masks in school is important as this strain of COVID surges. In matters of health, aren't they who we should be listening to? For Greene to admit she agrees with them, but then for her not to do everything she can is both inexplicable and inexcusable. 

Some people might point to DeSantis's executive order as a reason for the supers inaction; well, since Florida is no longer under a state of emergency (though we probably should be), his power to create mandates is limited, and we should all be wary of an executive officer that rules through fiat. Then there was a time when the republican party championed local control, but like many things, that notion is a relic of the past. Finally, DCPS and many districts have taken the state to court in the past, and what better reason would there be than to keep our staff and students safe? 

Others will say that requiring masks takes away their freedom. Well,  public schools already require a handful of vaccinations; we can't smoke in most public places because secondhand smoke can kill people, and we are required to wear seatbelts and get a fine if we don't, among many other instances where society has decided the limited reigning in of personal choices benefits us all. In short, I guess you could say that these and a thousand other things infringe on our freedom, but the reality is we trade a little freedom for the smooth and safe running of society, and wearing a mask, especially during a pandemic, isn't a whole lot to ask.

On a personal note, I am frustrated with my unvaccinated neighbors, often the ones who complain the loudest about masks. We are in this position because of their selfish choices. I was looking forward to not wearing a mask in school and not fighting with that one kid every day to wear their mask correctly, but I am more than willing to do so if it keeps them and me and my family safer. That is my goal with masks, and how it's not the superintendents is both disappointing and beyond me.

1 comment:

  1. At the next board meeting school board members should move for a motion of no confidence in the super. Her dereliction of duty is not just wrong it's dangerous.