An alternative perception

After reading Judie Gembala’s letter to the editor September 8, I feel I must reply with an alternative perception of the school board meeting on August 30.  

As a relative newcomer to the Manson area and having moved here permanently in 2017, I decided to become more involved in my community.  I went to the school board meeting to become better informed, not knowing such a large group was attending.  I arrived right at 6:00, when the meeting was to begin.  At that time, the library was packed with people, mostly unmasked, though a sign at the door required masks per the governor’s mandate.  
The group was told that because several refused to wear masks the meeting was to take place via Zoom.  All were given the opportunity to be a part of the Zoom meeting.  Those needing help logging onto the meeting, including me, were given assistance.
I did not hear or see any interactions between school board members and community members, but I did see the school superintendent tell one person she would like to meet with her and discuss the issue of masks.  This was a very courteous interaction.
Some members of the community, however, seemed very angry about the mask mandate.  As we were leaving the library, several continued  to present their views.  In addition to giving their reasons for opposing the mask mandate, they advocated non-compliance.  To an outside observer who had just arrived, this group was not courteous.  Their voices were raised; they stated that the school board should work for them or they would be voted out of office.  I did not hear an response from any school board member or employee as we were exiting the room.
In contrast, the Zoom meeting was very respectful.  Those who had signed up to speak were given the time to present their views.  While in-person would have been preferable, the Zoom meeting seemed to be a good compromise to enable the school board to receive an opposing point of view.
Gloria Heier


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