Victory: Exeter School Board Votes to Make Masks Optional This Fall - Granite Grok

Victory: Exeter School Board Votes to Make Masks Optional This Fall

Tonight was the third school board meeting where parents gathered to exercise their parental rights. Tonight the SAU16 COOP School board voted to make masks optional when the children head back to school.

Parents had already consulted with an attorney and were preparing to file suit if masks were going to be mandatory.

Parents filled the auditorium, and it was clear by the clapping, those who wanted masks optional had a BIG majority of parents there to speak up.

It is sad that parental rights are not automatically respected. We all understand that there is a pandemic, but the threat to children is minimal, and that point was brought up by parents who’ve done their homework.

They brought data and statistics, but the most compelling arguments came when parents reminded the board and administrators that these were their kids, and this decision lied with them. Parents shouldn’t have to beg and plead with their elected representatives to parent their own children.

Two board members voted against parental rights and voted against parents making a choice on whether their children should wear a mask. They wanted masks mandated.

Oddly enough, these board members were not masked tonight. How do you impose a mask mandate on children if you do not impose one on yourself?

Bob Hall and Paul Bauer were the two dissenting votes to grant parents their inalienable rights. Shockingly, they were not wearing masks tonight. In fact, no one on stage sitting next to each other wore a mask tonight.  How does anyone take these two seriously?

The Superintendent made the recommendation to make masks optional –finally showing some respect to good parents in the community. Go to the nearest hospital and look at what the nurses have to deal with when they get an abused child or drug-addicted baby in their care.

SAU16 parents did nothing to deserve anyone trampling over their rights. YES, you can trust these parents; they’ve done nothing to give anyone the impression that they are incapable of making this decision for their children.

Some parents who wanted mandated masks talked about their trust in their elected board members and administrators to make this decision. While everyone respects their decision to mask their children, why don’t they trust these parents to make this decision for their kids?  They’ve done nothing to lose their parental rights.

Finally, Kim Meyer, who also serves on the board, decided to rant for several minutes against parents and those seeking higher office. I suspect she was targeting Melissa Litchfield in those jabs. Melissa hasn’t made any political statements that I’ve seen; she listens to her constituents and offers responses to them since so many of the board members don’t respond.

I suspect Meijer is uncomfortable with the angry parents who’ve been emailing her and expressing their anger at the microphone. It’s not easy to hear these kinds of criticisms, but this district has lost its way. Parents want the Superintendent to focus on academics without the political bias and the other political agendas that seem to occupy his time.

If you want unity and appreciation for what you are doing, you have to work for all parents. Shutting down the school all year was an enormous mistake.

Parents do not want you taking the decisions away from them when it comes to the well-being of their children. If you can’t take the backlash, then do your job and demand better from the Superintendent because he put you in this position. Voice some frustration at one of the biggest contributors to this mess, David Ryan. He put the district in this position, so stop blaming everyone else. If you want unity, there has got to be a change in direction. Nothing in that rant appeared to be directed at the one person who needs to be held accountable for this mess.

I truly hope this was a turning point. I hope, in some way, David Ryan finally realizes that these parents are not going away. They are gunning for his job and will not stop until he’s replaced. Maybe this one action will help matters – I don’t know. I know that they have high expectations for this district and the people they pay to educate their children—Bravo to them. We are seeing parents in this district set high expectations for the people educating their children. This is what parents in every district should be doing.

If Ryan is smart, he’s learning a valuable lesson. Focus on quality academic education for these kids and respect the role of parents you are serving. When that happens, parents will not just support you, but they will fight for you. Right now, they are fighting to have you removed. You did that to yourself — learn from it and do not repeat those mistakes again.

These are good parents, but they refuse to co-parent with a government institution!!

If you run for school board, take a lesson from this. Don’t run if you don’t have the courage to demand better from the Superintendent.

You chose to run, do your job.