To the Editor:
We need leaders, not cowards.
It’s been nearly three weeks since the last KISD school board meeting. Board trustees and Dr. John Craft have still done nothing to address the need for universal masking in our schools.
Parents are in a revolving COVID carousel. An email states their child’s school had another infection and warns of possible exposure. Or they hear nothing from the principal, but their child says “a bunch of classmates were missing from class today,” and the parents’ alarm bells go off. Families are testing and retesting themselves and their kids. They quarantine, return their child to school, only to receive another letter. This time their child’s teacher is COVID positive and again there was possible exposure and the family is back at the testing site.
Gov. Abbott thinks he knows more than doctors about how COVID spreads. He chooses to ignore CDC guidelines that says universal masking in schools is imperative to stop the spread of infection.
He can think what he likes and choose willful ignorance, but when he uses the the Texas Disaster Act of 1975 to PREVENT local governments and school districts from taking life-saving measures, he’s crossed the line.
The act requires the governor to “meet the dangers to the state and people presented by disasters” and provides a framework for a governor willing to take action. If the governor declines his duty, the act does not limit aid or halt who can give it. In my reading of the act, it doesn’t give the Abbott the power to stop local civic and school leaders from taking urgent steps to protect students.
If there was a wildfire in our state and the governor addressed this emergency by banning the use of fire hydrants in the town engulfed in flames, no local county judge or commissioners would obey that ban. No school board or superintendent would stand by and watch their school district burn to the ground.
Yet, none of our local Bell County officials will defy Abbott’s dangerous and ill advised ban on universal masking in our schools, when they know it would mitigate the crisis we are in. Laws that intentionally cause harm and suffering are not meant to be obeyed. Laws that perpetuate loss of life in our communities must be broken!
This moment calls for leaders, not cowards. Stand up for our kids!