Mama and Papa Bears vs. COVID Restrictions

At this time many school districts across the country are in the throes of whether to mandate masks or vaccinations for grammar-school children, frequently amid great controversy and heated debate.  Even in school districts where the majority political ideology overrides biology, gatherings may be less contentious and fiery, yet the mama and papa bears will be heard.  

The issue is whether school districts, which are entrusted to educate children about the real world, have any legitimacy to override parental responsibility in mandating the CDC’s onerous COVID restrictions. Given the latest resurgence of COVID, school districts are being allowed to challenge sacrosanct parental rights as the state (i.e. school boards acting as CDC reps) claim undisputed authority to dictate public behavior.  Barring a suspension of the Constitution, the question is, under what circumstance, and during what national emergency has the state any legitimate role to dictate the lives of American children. As in the case of mandating COVID restrictions, once the state asserts that authority, where does the CDC’s legally valid approbation of that child end.

The current mask/no mask debate opens the door to the contention that the state’s concept of ‘greater good’ allows its institutional authority into every nook and corner of American life; that every action of the state is justified to benefit the common good of the collective and, in this case, depends on the capitulation of parental instinct.  That ‘greater good’ which takes precedence over every individual child’s distinct and separate right to American liberty as guaranteed by the Constitution, is nothing less than pure fascism. 

In New Mexico, Democratic governor Michele Grisham, who has foisted some of the most contentious lockdown requirements on her citizens, has threatened one school board with removal.  The Floyd, New Mexico board voted unanimously to allow each family to decide on the use of face masks, to allow each teacher to implement social distancing as necessary, and to end temperature tests for students and teachers.  The board’s decision immediately incurred the governor’s wrath as a violation of New Mexico’s health guidelines with the State Public Education Department demanding that the board rescind its actions.

Meanwhile, just across the state line in Colorado, parents have been showing up in force across the state at school board hearings.  In La Plata County, the 9R School District recently held a public ‘feedback’ session to address its COVID Mitigation Strategies including whether to accept the proposed 9R COVID Guidelines for 2021-22 school years as well as a survey to gauge parental support. Those guidelines, as identified by the CDC, contain the most egregious options for children including masking for unvaccinated students and staff, a ridiculously unenforceable physical distancing of three feet as well as isolation, contact tracing, and a targeted quarantine.  While not yet requiring vaccinations for students 12 years and up, the possibility remains depending on whether a community 70% vaccination rate is achieved.

While over one hundred residents signed up to speak, almost half that number failed to appear.  There is no way of knowing whether they were frightened or did not want to be identified as supporters of the COVID Guidelines.  Of the number that did appear, seven medical personnel (including two pediatricians) spoke in favor of mandatory masks in what appeared to be a prearranged effort as they cheered and sat together in the auditorium.  As true believers of the medical establishment, it was not startling to hear them assure the audience, without offering any forensic evidence, that masks were effective and safe.  As providers of children’s health, they seemed oblivious to the fact that no peer-reviewed science supports the masking of children (or adults), along with an alarming lack of awareness of the physical and psychological effects on grammar school-age children.  Without acknowledging that children are considerably less vulnerable to COVID than their parents, the American Academy of  Pediatrics recently urged the FDA to ‘work aggressively’ to adopt a vaccine for the under 12 years of age crowd.

Given the ‘uber progressive’ politics of the 9R community, it was surprising that more proponents of the guidelines and teacher’s unions failed to turn out.  There were a handful of teachers who spoke in support of the COVID Guidelines, some of whom assured the audience that masking has had no detrimental effect on children. Where other communities may have a more aggressive confluence of parents, opponents of the guidelines were more noticeable in numbers and more vocal than the proponents, yet a civil atmosphere was maintained.

Immediately after the hearing, the Durango Herald suggested that the community was split on mandatory masks when, in reality, without the handful of “special interest’ attendees, the majority were in opposition to mandating childhood face masks.  In addition, a DH op-ed “Yes, Masks asserted its usual pablum with no real science stating that “Data show that wearing masks reduces the incidence of COVID 19 by 20%. It continued to opine in favor of masking school children as well as favorably pointing out that the American Academy of Pediatrics and the CDC support the masking of two-year-olds. 

Meanwhile, as a backdrop to the guidelines hearing, in January, the 9R School Board quietly adopted a Diversity,  Equity and Inclusion Resolution that promised to “engage third-party subject matter experts specializing in diversity, equity, and inclusion for the purpose of identifying systemic racism and injustices throughout the district and providing unbiased recommendations and actions to ensure we are equitably serving all our stakeholders.”  The resolution affirmed that CRT (Critical Racial Theory) was also on the table but had been deferred until the COVID Guidelines issue had been resolved and a new school board was elected in early November.   

As four of five members of the 9R School Board are eligible for re-election, Britny Hanson, a 9R mama bear with two children, promised to have newly appointed District Superintendent Karen Cheser removed if unvaccinated students were forced to be masked.  In a curious administrative twist, Cheser will be making the final decision on implementing the guidelines as current board members declined the opportunity.  Hanson also urged community members to become school board candidates in the upcoming election as the current board had “taken too much control of children away from their parents.  We need to take back our schools and give power back to the parents.” 

The cruelest part of the Biden/Fauci fiction in their assault on America’s schoolchildren is that the medical establishment acknowledges that school-age children are not vulnerable to COVID, but that the COVID restrictions are now a necessary element to pacify and monitor the next generation of American citizens.

Renee Parsons served on the ACLU’s Florida State Board of Directors and as president of the ACLU Treasure Coast Chapter. She has been an elected public official in Colorado, staff in the Office of the Colorado State Public Defender, an environmental lobbyist for Friends of the Earth and a staff member of the US House of Representatives in Washington DC. She can be found at reneedove3@yahoo.com.

Image: Susan Gerbic 

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