Back to school is in full swing this year. Things are looking and feeling a little bit normal. Our school district opted to begin the year with masks optional in the buildings. While I had mixed feelings about that, I was confident the administration had the best interest of all the students at heart and I fully expected mask guidelines to change eventually.
Last week the number of students in quarantine rose and it was time for the district to pivot.
As of this past Monday, masks were no longer recommended, but required to attend school in our district. I supported that decision and for a lot of reasons, but most selfishly, I DO NOT want to have to do remote learning again EVER if it is unavoidable. I also understand that masks keep everyone safe. Sure, my kids are healthy. They don’t have any underlying conditions that we know of. They might catch COVID and likely they would be okay, but that isn’t the same for every child. One sick child is one too many as far as I am concerned. We should do our part to protect our most vulnerable ones.
Now, my opinions on masks are my own. I understand people disagree. They are entitled to that just as I am entitled to feel as I do. I’m not a doctor nor am I a scientist, but I am a mom who can tell you we did not have one case of the flu or a cold in our house last winter. That never happens! You will not convince me that the masks had zero part in that.
However, supporting masks or not is not the point of this piece here.
(Back to life in our small community with the announcement of the mask requirement…)
People lost their ever loving minds over this.
I have no other way to describe it. From fighting with other neighbors on a community Facebook page to hatred and threats being spewed to planning protests. One of my children even watched as a fellow student was removed from a school bus by police for refusing to wear a mask on the way home or leave the bus on their own free will.
It. Was. Wild.
You may think that because I don’t agree with the methods employed that I don’t agree with standing up for something you believe in.
Let me be perfectly clear– that is not it at all.
I believe in your right to dissent. I believe in your right to protest. But disrupting my child’s education, making them or the teachers, staff, and administrators feel unsafe, or attempting to bully a bus driver? Pegging yourself as a “patriot” and a “freedom fighter” as you hide behind the keyboard calling the PTA president a “puppet” or the superintendent a “weasel?” That ain’t it, Kid. That ain’t it.
I truly hope all of these parents who are so fired up about the mask requirement at our schools stay fired up.
Please, by all means, keep that fire, but let’s channel that energy into something a bit more productive.
Attend board meetings regularly.
Volunteer at your child’s school.
Help out with the PTA.
Support the faculty and staff.
Coach the sports team.
Be a Scout leader.
Don’t just show up when it suits you.
All I am saying is that if you have time to plan a protest at the Board of Education on a random Tuesday morning, you certainly have time to read a book to your kid’s class or help serve muffins at a PTA event. Sorry not sorry.
I can admit in the past I didn’t have or make the time to volunteer like I do now. I am totally not throwing shade at anyone who legitimately cannot contribute more than they already do. I get it. We all have lives and other obligations that may prevent us from doing all we would like to do.
But those are not the people I am talking about.
I am talking about these loud, angry parents who are vocal for something they don’t like and they think negatively affects them. They make the time in their lives to fit in protesting or attending a board meeting because this time they are big mad. They have hours to argue with a neighbor on Facebook, but have their feelings hurt when someone questions them. They have all the time for that. Cool.
But, what I want to know is where are you the rest of the time?
When the youth foundation is asking for coaches? When the scout troops need more adult involvement? When the schools need supplies? When the PTA is BEGGING for more than just the same handful of giving parents to help? When your child’s teacher needs you? When the board meetings are just regular business? When another human being needs an advocate or some compassion and you won’t directly benefit from putting a hand out to help?
WHERE ARE YOU THEN?
I know where you’re not.
Yes, keep that passion. But let’s harness it and channel it into more than just this one moment where you feel so wronged that you just can’t help but speak up. Because if we could just all work together and work for good, damn…
What a wonderful world that would be.