There is conflict occurring within our communities pertaining to COVID-19 protocols and masking mandates and it is negatively affecting our school districts and our kids' education.

Through the governor’s mandates, agencies are providing direction to every school district in the state pertaining to COVID-19 protocols. There is no choice in the manner as school district are required to follow the laws/policies.

There are people who have threatened to turn in schools in for not following the mask mandates. Conversely, there are folks who are condemning the schools for following state law because it conflicts with their rights.

Personally, I understand both sides. My concern is the “energy” is being applied to the wrong entity. The mandates/rules are not coming from the school districts. None of it. The school districts are required to abide by them or be subject to fines and/or loss of teaching credentials.

Our teachers and administration are getting “brow beat” from all angles. All they want to do is teach. They care about our kids and their future. They want to prepare them as best they can for the life that’s ahead of them. There are tremendous distractions keeping them from doing this to their fullest extent.

My hope is people redirect their energy to the root cause of these issues. The school districts have supported “local control” and I truly believe this is in alignment with the community in general. We, collectively, need to support them in educating our kids. Not tear them down.

Matt Howard

Wallowa

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