In Albert Lea, 290 students are quarantined due to COVID-19 exposure after one week of school. In Colorado Springs, my niece and nephew were sent home after two weeks of school.
Two weeks after Atlanta schools reopened, a doctor charted the percentage of children with COVID-19 cases; at the eight schools with mask mandates, only one had a rate higher than 1.5%.
At the seven schools without mask mandates, the percentage ranges from 1.5 to 3.5%. In central Ohio, schools are reinstating mask mandates as over 600 students enter quarantine in their third week of school.
Yet at Morris Public, we’re moving blithely forward with no mask recommendations, no required quarantines, and an end to most of the common-sense precautions we took last year. And we can’t even talk about this as a community!
I’m writing this letter as a last resort to start a community dialog. I wrote to the school board, former superintendent, and both principals Aug. 13. Good thing I have a friend on the board, or
I would have gotten no response at all!
I spoke at the school board meeting Aug. 23, along with many others. The school board listened politely, but no response. Not only were the statements by over a dozen parents not covered in the newspaper, the entire meeting was left out!
Finally, I withdrew my son from MAES last week. That email, at least, received a polite response.
My son is one of at least 10 children I know personally who will not be at school this fall because the school is not taking even basic precautions against COVID-19.
Some of these children have health problems that put them at risk. Some of them live with parents, siblings, or grandparents who have health problems. Some of us parents are switching to online options or St. Mary’s to avoid the last-minute scramble that will occur when Morris public is inevitably forced to change their policies. Regardless, each child pulled from the school is a loss of resources for the district.
Reasonable people can disagree about what the schools should do, but when the school won’t respond to parent emails, the newspaper won’t cover the school board meetings, and Dr. Goodnough remains the only school board member willing
to speak up for CDC and MDH recommendations, then the only way concerned parents can have their voices heard is if they vote with their feet.
Please, let’s talk about this before it’s too late.
Rebecca Dean, mother of 3
University of Minnesota, Morris