Treatment of local citizens should give all cause for concern

Tonight, August 30, the Manson School board meeting at the Manson Elementary School should have given every parent and concerned citizen pause for the treatment of about 40 concerned citizens wanting to dialogue with them. A group of parents and concerned people attended the meeting with the intention of speaking to the board about concerns regarding masking in the district schools, and to encourage the board to not require children attending district schools to wear masks. It was never the intention of the group to shut the meeting down or treat the board with disrespect.
When the parents entered a school hallway to the room where the meeting was held, there were two men who instructed everyone to sign in and to take a mask. Everyone declined the offer to mask up. When the group was seated we were instructed by a board member to mask up, in a curt threatening manner. When everyone declined his two “chances” to comply, the gentleman presented a motion to adjourn the meeting and make it a Zoom meeting. Using his position to negate our concerns with rudeness and an authoritarian manner that was quite shocking and heavy handed to those present. It is the intention of the parents that the district not implement a mask rule in any form for the health and safety of our children.
The parents do not feel that the governor’s mandate is anything but that, a mandate, not a Law. The decision to wear a mask, or not, should be made by every individual. This may be an unpopular stance for those who whole heartedly embraced the wearing of masks and who chose to take an injection for the virus. The dubious health benefits of masks, and a vaccine that still requires masking and social distancing and worse, that those who have had the injection are still likely to sicken and die from the injection and the virus, should be of great concern. Every year, in excess of 70,000 Americans die of seasonal flu and pneumonia, neither of which require the masking of the population.
The board voted quickly to adjourn, several board members made a few disparaging comments to members of the group at large and several parents. One board member looked at the group with disgust and shook his head before the board made their hurried exit. The district superintendent actually did engage with a parent who was presenting facts about the supposed safety or value of masking and told her she would like to meet with her for further discussion of our concerns.
It appeared to the group that the board felt they had made certain we did not feel welcome and that those of the group who were scheduled for a three minute chance to speak, would now have to arrange a Zoom interaction. The rest of the group were not welcome apparently to sit in on a regular board meeting. The manner in which the group was treated did not give those attending confidence that the board has any concerns for any views but those of the board. the board, which is supposed to be responsive to parental concerns. It was painful to see the one unmasked child who attended observing first hand the strong arm manner in which she would be treated when she wanted to say how much she disliked wearing a mask. As a lesson in civics, any adult would be appalled at the smug manner the board exhibited to the taxpayers with an honest grievance and concern for their children’s health. They exhibited the authoritarian manner many Americans have come too equate with those who are given a little bit of power and use it against voters and those who pay their salary.
To see the disregard for the concerns of parents and citizens was truly shocking and indicative of many these days that if you take an opposing stance about masks or vaccines you are demonized, dismissed or accused of disregarding the health of others. The idea of civil discourse, calm discussion and consensus has been traded for an authoritarian stance of “my way or the highway” mentality. The few comments that several board members yelled to the group indicated a real lack of information about the virus being smaller than a human hair, which easily passes through all masks in common use today. The fact that there has been such deception from the CDC and Mr. Fauci toward Americans did not seem anywhere on their radar. They were uninterested in listening to any opposing views. These, the people who will make decisions about masks for our children, may also attempt the implementation of programs very unpopular with parents, Critical Race Theory, and Gender and Identity agendas. School boards are meant to be responsive to the concerns of parents.
Besides being useless in preventing the virus from entering our systems, they give those wearing them a false sense of security that they are safe from the virus. Mr. Fauci made this point early on about masks not being useful in the prevention of contracting the virus. The group Monday night, and millions of others in the world, do not feel subject to a mandate regarding masks, It would send a mixed message to children to see us masking up to comply with a board not only not interested in our concerns, but in forcing our children to mask up every minute of their school day.
As a concerned citizen and a parent and grandparent I would encourage all concerned people to educate themselves about this virus and what masks do, and do not do, to protect us. Also, to consider carefully the fact that those who seek to deny your right to make your own health decisions should not use a school board position to dictate public health policy. Please make your opinions known and remind your school board that they work for us, the parents. They are to listen to us, not become petty tyrants in the implementation of their personal beliefs. Remind them we still have the right to be autonomous human beings and citizens, that the U.S .Constitution guarantees us this right, not to be negated by local school districts.

Judie Gembala
Manson

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