Tuesday, September 28, 2021

One More Story About The Extra Challenges of School Right Now

This is what educators are up against right now.

Last night was school board night in my county. At one board meeting, the board was subjected to a certain amount of ranting about masks, including assertions that asymptomatic children do not spread the disease. One board member thanked them for speaking out.

Just up the road from me, the Oil City School District was supposed to have its regular meeting.

Two attendees at the meeting wore "Freedom over Fear" t-shirts and refused to put on their masks.

So the board recessed for an hour to allow an attempt to sort out the masking. The two did not leave or relent, so the board canceled the meeting and rescheduled it as a Zoom meeting later in the week. 

Both had attended previous meetings. Only one spoke. Previously, that speaker asserted that covid isn't real. 

That speaker is a high school student.

Fifty one teachers were there to show solidarity as they questioned the board about covid sick day policies; like many districts, this one now requires teachers to use up their own sick days if they contract covid. They didn't get to stand together as a group to address that concern.

And some of them had to be in school today, dealing with that student and others like him.

If we were in a state like North Carolina, how quickly do you suppose the family would turn a teacher in to the state for trying to "indoctrinate" their child into believing that disease that has killed almost 700,000 people in this country is not real, and that he needs to follow the dictates of the state and wear his damn mask? How does this work in a district where the board agrees with the student? And how many students are being told, indirectly or directly, that they should not respect or listen to the educators at their school?

It's one more obstacle thrown in the path of people who went into this line of work because they wanted to teach children.

There is a desperate need right now for parents who do not feel anti-vax/mask/etc to speak up in school board meetings, letters to the editor, and anywhere else. But they can see that speaking up invites attacks, and so a vocal minority is shouting down the rest. And teachers hunker down for another long year, or start looking for the exit.

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