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Taking a stand against mandates 

Letter to the Editor

On Monday, August 2, 2021, at a special meeting of the Polk County Board of Education, the people of Polk County made clear their opposition to mask mandates in public schools.

A large crowd of parents and other concerned citizens attended this meeting and spoke eloquently about their insistence that children should not be subjected to arbitrary measures that isolate them from their teachers and their peers.

In a move which most attendees vociferously opposed, the board moved to a vote on the measure concerning masking before public comment was allowed. The board also attempted to limit public comment but reversed that decision upon loud protest from the attendees. After brief comments by board members, the board voted 6-1 to make mask wearing optional at the beginning of the school year.

Whether or not the board’s deferment of public comment or attempt to limit it was a cynical tactic to squelch public opposition, it had little effect on most attendees. Many speakers cited numerous sources attesting to studies which show that children are not vulnerable to Covid-19 and do not transmit it to others. Some spoke poignantly of the consequences of isolation leading to anxiety and depression. It is manifestly obvious to objective people that the measures taken to ‘protect‘ children have had the opposite effect. Children need the in person learning experience and face to face interaction with their fellow students, their teachers and others.

It should also be made clear to the entire board that any attempt to reverse this decision in the future, regardless of whatever measures Governor Cooper tries to enforce, the people of Polk County, a Constitutional County, will have the final say in how their children are treated. 

Gene Comiskey 

Tryon