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LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Let’s unmask Stanly County Schools

In response to the article, “Public comment policy generates heat at School Board meeting” dated July 1 (online), I would like to address some big gaps in the story. Working with a small group of SCS parents, those of us who spoke have gathered more than 1,000 signatures on a petition that states, “We the people of Stanly County petition the Stanly County Board of Education to immediately vote on a motion to make masks optional in all Stanly County Schools both for the remainder of this summer and upcoming 2021-22 school year.”

During public comments that night I shared, “Governor Cooper and Health Secretary Cohen have made it clear they are going to follow the politically motivated guidance of the CDC no matter what and continue to hold our children hostage until they get an experimental and potentially dangerous vaccine they do not need. At a joint press conference on June 2 with Gov. Cooper and Secretary Cohen, Cohen said ‘as of right now, we want to be sure that we are protecting our students and making sure that those who are unvaccinated are wearing masks, so that is what we will continue to do (in schools).’ Knowing September is the earliest the vaccine will be available for those under 12, that all but guarantees Gov. Cooper will extend the mask mandate for schools into next school year.”

In addition, speakers shared that the mask mandate is illegal and unhealthy for children, that the Harnett County school board has already done it, asked the school board to boldly stand for liberty no matter what the cost, to not ask our kids to carry a burden we should carry for them, and read direct quotes from students and teachers about their terrible experience with masks. (By the way, Deanna Davis was incorrectly listed as a speaker. Renee Dennis was the speaker and she’s not a school teacher.)

So knowing there are Stanly County children in summer school right now, why didn’t you ask the school board members what they plan to do about their suffering? Why didn’t you ask school board members why they wouldn’t vote on the motion to make masks optional that night? Why didn’t you ask the school board why they canceled their July regular meeting when this is a time sensitive issue they could use for a public forum? Why didn’t you ask school board members why they trust Gov. Cooper to end the mandate on July 31 when both he and Sec. Cohen have made statements to the contrary? Why didn’t you ask those who spoke why they did so when the chairman said the mandate would be over at the end of July?

The story that night was not a heated exchange over speaking time. It was about an all Republican school board who refused to stand for liberty and protect the children attending Stanly County Schools.

If you want to get involved, join the private Facebook group, “Unmask Stanly County Schools.”

Jason Phibbs

Albemarle