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Bend-La Pine parents rally to voice frustration with school board; chair decries ‘harassment, intimidation’

(Update: Adding video, comments)

Melissa Barnes Dholakia says board members of color have been targeted

BEND, Ore (KTVZ) -- All across the nation, parents have voiced their concerns with school boards when it comes to COVID-19 mandates and some curriculum, including here in Central Oregon. And events of the past few weeks have raised the tenor of that debate, as evident both outside and inside the Bend-La Pine School Board meeting Tuesday evening.

A group known as Moms for Liberty staged a rally attended by dozens outside the Bend-La Pine Schools headquarters as the board met inside, once again in person and livestreamed, but without a public audience.

The group called the gathering to address their ongoing concerns with the district, and the policy-making school board.

One of the rally organizers, Shelly Baker, says the event was not a protest, but more of a public forum for parents to share their opinions on the district's handling of the pandemic and current curriculum.

"Parents wouldn't be showing up if everything was great," Baker said. "They're showing up because they are concerned."

Baker said she believes district-wide mask and vaccine mandates interfere with a parent's decision when it comes to their child.

"That's a parental rights issue," Baker said. "That's what Moms for Liberty is all about, protecting parental rights."

Parent Wendy Imel, who ran for a school board seat but lost, says she's not only concerned with mandates, but the curriculum as well.

"As a parent who wants my child to be prepared for his future I'm watching them prioritize non-educational priorities over math, english, literature, history, the things that are going to prepare him for an academic future," Imel said.

Imel says the focus does not appear to be education-driven.

"Instead my children are focusing on social and emotional learning," Imel said. "Political agendas, and an entire month of LGBTQ+ curriculum."

At the start of the board meeting, board Chair Melissa Barnes Dholakia read a statement, later supported by several colleagues, saying the board welcomes dialogue but decrying what she said has been harassment and intimidation, primarily focused, she said, on board members of color.

"In a democracy, elections represent the will of the people," Barnes Dholakia said. "But in the new playbook -- which we need to name as that, and as being national -- the next course of action is to harass and intimidate those who were elected, if they do not represent your views. This should be seen as intolerable for us, as Central Oregonians."

"Public engagement is a wonderful thing. Please don't take my words the wrong way," she said. "But that's not what this is. This is about harassment. This is about intimidation, about working to try to ensure people in elected office, who were elected by the majority, do not seek re-election, and to discourage others from running."

Barnes Dholakia asked two questions to the community: "Is this about being listened to, or being provided a stage? And what does it say about not only our community, but our nation, that our board members of color are those most frequently attacked?"

"We are open to discussion, to listening -- we have to be able to collaborate," she said. "But what is happening right now -- harassment, intimidation and targeting BIPOC board members -- is intolerable, and it cannot continue."

Here is a pre-rally news release from Moms for Liberty:

"Parent-led organization Moms for Liberty invites the concerned parents of Deschutes County to come together in a peaceful gathering today, October 12th at 4:30pm in front of the Bend-La Pine School District offices.

"On October 4, 2021, the Department of Justice announced a new initiative to address “harassment, intimidation, and threats of violence” against school board members and employees. This comes just a week after the National School Board Association (NSBA) sent a letter to President Biden asking for help to stop parents from speaking out against local school boards, equating “parents” with “terrorists”. This letter reveals the NSBA’s contempt for parents and an unwillingness to hear their sincere concerns for their children.

"All over the nation, including here in Bend, parents have been voicing their concerns to their local school boards. These parents are concerned with what is being taught in the classroom and restrictive Covid measures.  They are finding curriculum, which is divisive, inappropriate, pornographic, and filled with racist theories that divide and breeds hostility.  As responsible parents, they are bringing their concerns to their local school boards. What parents are now waking up to is these school boards are not representing them but rather powerful entities such as the teachers’ unions and private contracted companies pushing specific political ideologies. Leaving parents to feel left out and silenced.  And now, threatened by law enforcement.

"Here in Bend, parents have felt the same disregard. For the entirety of the pandemic the Bend-La Pine school board held their meetings virtually even when not directed by the State. It took parent push back for the Board meetings to return to in-person back in July of 2021. Since then, they have held two in-person meetings and one listening session. In two of the three meetings, the board members walked off the stage during public comments. Since then, they are back to only offering public participation virtually as they meet in person as a board.  

"Today, October 12th at 4:30pm on the front lawn of the Bend-La Pine School District Offices, a group of parents will peacefully assemble in unity over the concern for our children’s education. Some parents will speak, sharing concerns, hopes and pleas in a public forum to the community at large and to all in attendance.

“Moms for Liberty is a group of moms, dads, grandparents, teachers, and community members of all backgrounds. We condemn any threats, threats of violence, intimidation, and other distasteful aggression towards school board members and staff. However, voicing concerns, criticizing policy, and holding school board members accountable for their speech, actions, and policy decisions is not the same thing. It is our duty as parents to hold our school boards accountable and parents have every right to do that without being labeled as a threat or likened to a domestic terrorist.”  Shelly Baker, Chapter Chair, Moms for Liberty-Deschutes County.

Author Profile Photo

Alec Nolan

Alec Nolan is a multimedia journalist for NewsChannel 21. Learn more about Alec here.

Barney Lerten

Barney is the digital content director for NewsChannel 21. Learn more about Barney here.

Comments

100 Comments

  1. Outside of this comments board- I’m not seeing or hearing a lot of positive opinions out there about mandates- Executive orders- or anything related to all things Hopey Changey… Oregonians seem to be finding their voices- their courage- their nerve ! Good for them.

      1. Free speech as defined by demonrats, not the United States Constitution. Everyday this country becoming closer to communist rule and everyday freedoms being squelched.

    1. Funny, a Fox News poll showed more approve of them than do not. Time to stop the fake outrage and get together with folks who don’t agree with you and come up with ideas to help solve problems together. If we don’t? We will have a Trump dictatorship if he lives long enough, and I think even Trumpers realize how disastrous that would be. Do the Dems have all the answers? Nope. But Trumpism and the moronic name calling and behavior of Trumpers isn’t going to end well either.

    2. “This is about harassment. This is about intimidation, about working to try to ensure people in elected office, who were elected by the majority, do not seek re-election, and to discourage others from running.”

      Seems like the same thing that happened to Trump and anyone associated with him.
      The only difference is in this case the media and the marxist democrats don’t like it.

  2. That’s right! You boys and girls keep fighting those “madates”! Rumor has it all “madates” are bad. Wow. And they say they’re concerned about their kids education. Ironic?

    1. Exactly. Student enrollment in 2019-2020 was about 18,500. To be conservative, let’s assume 30,000 parents/guardians. Those 48 protestors equal less than two-tenths of one percent.

    2. Parents typically have jobs to support their families and on top of it they have other things to take care around the household. Just because not everyone shows up it does not mean they disagree/agree with the subject of the protest. It is like when 50 shows up with load speakers to stop federal agents doing their job it does not mean the majority in CO agrees with them. Actually, even the most left leaning people around me disagree with illegal immigration especially when it comes to the ones with criminal conviction.

    3. Exactly. We’re spending so much time dealing with a vocal minority showing up at these Board meeting pummeling these volunteers who are simply trying to follow the best available evidence we have. Even Fox News’ headline from a few days reads: “Fox News Poll: Majorities favor mask and vaccine mandates as pandemic worries increase.”

  3. Barnes Dholakia sounds to me like a professional victim! I Don’t believe I’ve herd any race or gender harassment claims from any other school board members?

    1. I agree. Isn’t this the same board that walked out of the meeting and left the parents because nobody was agreeing with them? That is the way to “listen”…….

    2. For sure, this attitude seems to be status quo on many school boards across the country. Continued wussification of our society always the victim. Toughen up school board and listen to the people that vote you in. You answer to parents not the other way around. Really wish we would have voted differently last November, we had a chance to get these spineless elites off the board and out of our childrens lives.

  4. After reading the comments by the “Moms of Liberty” I wondered if they had actually read the letter from the NSBA to President Biden. IMHO, if you are trying to make a point to the community it is a good policy for it to be well grounded in reality https://www.nsba.org/-/media/NSBA/File/nsba-letter-to-president-biden-concerning-threats-to-public-schools-and-school-board-members-92921.pdf?la=en&hash=642B7B91E0029BA4427D0F38D7054A007537160F

  5. If you dont want to vax your kid then don’t but keep them out of public schools. We wouldn’t be in this mess if cheeto head had done his job instead of playing down the virus. He got fired over it, anyone else not vaxxing or masking should get fired too.

    1. Cheeto Head declared a national emergency when there were not even 25 people dead from the virus. Compare the date of that declaration with the CDC information on that date for evidence of my statement. On that same date Fauci said to go on dating sites and cruises and that masks would not help. Reality is tough for some to face but grow up and do it anyway.

    2. Yeah, public school systems are a joke anymore really. The lies about gender and sex education in elementary school is highly inappropriate. Most parents with the ability to are choosing to stay away from such public schools in which you are likely describing. Vax doesn’t kill the virus, that’s a pretty well known fact. We are in this disease for a long time even if we reach 100% vax, this virus will still exist. How we treat each other and learn to work together is far more important then rules and mandates.

    3. I’m old enough to remember when Joe, Kamala and Pelosi all said they wouldn’t trust Cheeto heads vaccine.. The “blame Trump for everything” routine is only used by the most severe TDS sufferers now. You must be one…

        1. Fife,
          Do you think Dementia Joe, Kamala and Pelosi thought Trump was in the laboratory mixing up the vaccine when they said they didn’t trust the Trump vaccine?

        2. But they did state to not take a vaccination from an administration you dont trust. I have shared the link of Biden and Harris stating that before. I dont trust the trump admin nor the Biden admin but I do trust my bodies natural antibodies! 🙂

    4. Still getting over your TDS I see? Remember Trump being called racist by idiots like Piglosi and Shumer for banning influx of people from China? Piglosi even went as far to go to China town in San Fran for a stupid publicity stunt. Those two morons did more damage by publically voicing their support for not limitiing travel from China for pure political gains. But you Dims ignore hairbrained stunts by other dims.

  6. I’m about to blow your mind! Are you sitting down?

    Critical Race Theory isn’t taught in any schools in any county in the entire US…

    It’s true. This whole hubbub was concocted by a clever conservative crap stirrer named Christopher Rufo. And remember this comes on the heels of the George Floyd protests and the rise of a national racial inequity awareness movement. Consider the anti-CRT moral crisis a right-wing backlash against racial progress in this country.

    If you believe otherwise, you’ve been hoodwinked.

    https://www.newyorker.com/news/annals-of-inquiry/how-a-conservative-activist-invented-the-conflict-over-critical-race-theory

    1. Yep. I can attest to this. CRT is not taught in anything but a FEW college law classes. But don’t burst their bubble. They are too busy being victimized by that boogie man.

  7. They (The board)are playing victims when they are NOT LISTENING to the people. The board is supposed to represent the PARENTS and see that the PARENT’s wishes are respected. The Bend/Lapine School Board has not only made it clear they don’t want to hear from parents, but they have also gone so far as to slander those who ran for office, claim they have been attacked, and lock themselves away from the public because it is too uncomfortable to have to sit and listen to Parents. The reality is Parents are DONE with their children being locked inside schools all day, being made to eat lunch outside, having to wear masks all day long. Many studies show kids are suffering LONG TERM, irreparable damage psychologically and physically from wearing masks. Younger children are being conditioned to accept them as a new reality, which we the parents are not okay with. The one night Bend/LaPine School Board held for parents to give feedback, Marcus LaGrande attacked the very first speaker and that caused the board to take a recess out of the room. When they returned they warned the audience to behave and one more outburst like that would lead to them leaving and calling it over. We the PARENT’s did not cause that, it was videotaped and is available to view WHO caused it. Upon leaving the same meeting, Marcus LaGrande again held his fist up in the air at a parent who was trying to say she was sad that he expressed his child was threatened. He got into her face and had to be dragged off by an officer. Does that sound like behavior befitting someone holding a public office?

    NO ONE has made any racial intonations towards anyone on the board. NO ONE has harrassed or intimidated the board. In fact, many have been trying to get responses to emails, but crickets are heard. We are locked out of the meetings which are by LAW to be open to the public. Does anyone else recognize that under the guise of COVID lockdowns our schools have radically changed curriculum, posted racial symbols that are offensive to some in public high school entryways, books removed To Kill a Mockingbird, Scarlet Letter, The Color Purple, Catcher in the Rye, A Light in the Attic, and even Harry Potter, and Mark Twain. Books that by most standards would be considered offensive to any person of Christian faith have been added such as: Black Jokes about White Folks, Me and White Supremacy, The New Jim Crow, White Fragility, They Can’t Kill Us All, There Ain’t No Black in the Union Jack, The Gender Creative Child, They She He: Easy as ABC.
    Interestingly as this board is stating they were voted in, so why the fuss and muss… The other article released tonight is that people are calling for Election Integrity wanting Forensic audits. With all the fraud being proven in Arizona and other states, maybe, just maybe, there is some truth to none of our elections being fairly run. My favorite quote was they are being harassed and intimidated for not following their views…well, let’s see The CEntral Oregon Peacekeepers threatened the republican group running for office and in fact was the cause of a public event to be canceled because they were planning to “Intimidate and harass” them. So which side is being harassed? As an Independent who has been at meetings, who has observed and spoke. It’s funny how both sides claim the other is harassing them, but only one side is crying racism, despite the fact that one of my children would have been reprimanded severely for bringing home a book White Jokes and Black Folks, but I would imagine it’s not the other way around for the Black Folks and White Jokes kids. So who is racist here?

    1. How would you or anyone other than the board or perhaps their family or top district officials know that “NO ONE has harassed or intimidated the board”? Are you privy to all their emails, phone calls, encounters around the city?
      Your stance would be stronger without such absolute statements.

      1. In regards to the harassment claims, I think the bigger issue here is that it appears to be a deflection or something to hide behind. Maybe it happened, maybe it didn’t. So what? What does it have to do with mask mandates, curriculum etc?

        1. If a person is considered to be racist, it is seen as justification to ignore anything they say. If a group contains a person deemed to be racist, then likewise the group will be ignored. This is what cancel culture looks like in government. All that is needed is an accusation, and it doesn’t matter who it comes from. The accused and anybody who has affiliation with the accused, real or imagined, is effectively silenced. Taking heat from your constituents? Pull the race card and walk away.

      2. The board claims harassment but there has been none observed in public at school board meetings. There has been anger and frustration that we the people cannot be heard. I for one pointed out to the Bend Lapine school board that their own 3 minute rule is not showing or allowing parents the right to be heard. Other school board such as crook county and Redmond have allowed parents to air concerns and said they would limit, but ultimately, let voices be heard beyond time limits.

        But I have observed School Board members in public and while on official events harass others. Anyone who is elected and is supposed to Represent We The People, should know that you were voted in, you can also be removed. Their job is to make our kids safe, oversee reading, writing, and arithmetic. There JOB is NOT to muzzle our students, indoctrinate them by pushing ideologies, social norms, and pushing gender fluidity and shame. Parents instill moral code in their children, not a school.

        First day of Bend/LaPine school teenagers were asked what pronouns they wanted used and what name they wanted to go by. Parents give a child a name at birth for a reason. Now the schools allow kids to just randomly change their name? I know of a family who got a phone cal from a. Teacher who was asking about a child by the “assumed name” they chose to go by. The parents expressed they called the wrong family, only to be told by the teacher no it’s xxxx, they chose to be called xxx.

    2. Honest question…

      Are you sure the school board is in place to represent the will of the parents?

      Can you provide some citation somewhere like a mission statement or something?

      Seems to me that a school board serves the will of the greater society and not just pissed off parents this week about this issue only to change course when the news cycle changes, yet again.

      Since societies never remain static it seems the parents upset by all the “new norms” you list above are just unhappy with the current social tide and think their views are representative of the unheard masses. Insert eye roll here…

      1. Governing school boards enable local decision making in response to local needs. By having their finger on the pulse of their communities, elected school board members or trustees know what their students, schools, and communities need because they are members of the communities themselves.

        Meaning, the school board
        does not exist to run the local public school
        system, but to govern the individuals that do.

    3. “Moms for Liberty is far right extremism with a cuddly title. It offers to help followers set up a Madison Meetup to discuss the true meaning of the Founding. Readings include the “’Declaration of Independence’ brochure guide by Moms for Liberty” and “How to Read the Declaration of Independence and Constitution” by Paul Skousen, a far right author. His book The Naked Socialist completed the work of his late father W. Cleon Skousen, a supporter of the John Birch Society once described by National Review as an “all-around nutjob.” Maurice Cunningham 4/21/21

  8. Everybody hides behind fake racism now. Where’s the proof? Where’s the harassment and intimidation?

    I used to hear a lot about nazis running around this country…never seen one though.

    “We are open to discussion, to listening — we have to be able to collaborate,” she said. “But what is happening right now — harassment, intimidation and targeting BIPOC board members — is intolerable, and it cannot continue.”

    1. These “Moms” probably travel from school board meeting to school board meeting across the state in a clown car. I’m guessing most of them don’t have children in BLSD at all.

  9. Choosing to run for, and being elected to public office, inherently puts one in a position to receive feedback from constituents. This is protected by the first amendment-if these folks don’t like dealing with pissed off parents, they should have considered that before running.

    1. Have you run for office? Sat in a public leadership role? Then you know it’s tough. What you do not sign up for is people threatening you and now at times families. Remember, most of the school board members also have kids at school. Do they also deserve public ridicule and harassment. This is happening. Our smaller communities are seeing this in the stores in front of these people kids.
      Don’t confuse local school board members, parks and rec members and more for our senators and governor because they are NOT. Yet we are now giving them the same disdain we’ve been giving our federal and state officials.
      Please tell me you disagree with the death threats and threatening emails and snail mail they are receiving. Our school board members need to feel safe in their homes.

      1. The article specifically mentions parents concerns over curriculum and mandates(which are valid)but vaguely mentions threats and intimidation. It would be great if the reporter drilled into the threats and included some quotes to substantiate the accusations. If there are threats that cross the line, then we have a legal system designed to deal with idiots that make threats. Given the info included in the article, I still say, if you can’t take the heat, stay out of the kitchen.

  10. The entire government is in place to represent the PEOPLE. PERIOD. Im completely blown away all you people really believe all of this is okay and actually for purpose. All you morons can do is still blame Trump and cry his name. Yeah. He was an * ****…. we all know. But this is so far beyond him now and thats all you people cry. Stop being sheep and doing what you’re told. None of this is for the Greater good. NONE!

    1. If only there were some way we could put this issue out there for the people to decide who they wanted to be on the school board. A means by which we could count the number of people that wanted a certain candidate to be on the school board.

      1. If only we could bypass elections entirely. If only we could determine the actual winners by the decibels they generate at meetings and the cosmic craziness of their ideas–and by the utter disregard for civility and rationality and caring displayed. Thank you, LOL, for your satirical perspective. If only . . .

  11. A huge part of this article is about the use of intimidation and violence towards our school board members. Which I do NOT condone. Even the rural county school boards are getting death threats. What is wrong with us? These are VOLUNTEERS who are serving our communities, often held by laws and standards the rest of us don’t understand. An example is if we receive federal money then we have to do certain things.
    When the police have to get involved to remove people from meetings, track down email ownership for these threats of violence….. we’ve crossed a line I’ve not seen before in our communities.

  12. Dailymail, newyorker, wikipedia……….these links and news stories are nothing more than selective data from liberal leaning outlets. Same as when someone attempts to post a right wing leaning or anti vax, anti mask article. Only difference is the liberal leaning links aren’t deleted by moderators. Anything opposing vaccination, mask wearing, COVID data is automatically deemed misinformation. The 1st amendment wasn’t randomly written as 1st by coincidence, our founding fathers obviously knew that to have a free state then everyone must have a voice. If a single voice is snuffed then it simply is not freedom. Forcing someone to believe one way is not freedom. Slander of someone that believes differently is not American. Taking ones right to free speech, religion, and opportunity is anti constitutional. I don’t care which side of the fence you’re on, you can not deny the fact that rights, beliefs, and speech are being snuffed.

    1. We prove this wrong by the posts we allow every day. But yes, if authorities/other experts have refuted a claim or it comes from some unknown website or one that has been found by many to be fully of misinformation, it may be deleted because the moderator can’t spend all day fact-checking as some would have us do. Besides, this is a privately run website and we have Terms of Service. In the world of the Internet, you can create a website and spread your words far and wide. Everyone still has a voice. And hopefully, a brain that can discern what’s accurate and what’s not.

  13. What did the Dem leadership think would happen? They encourage their own people to attack and commit acts of pervision on its own senators while they try to use the bathroom for not going along with a faction of their own party. And these people can’t handle verbal feedback; pathetic!

  14. Praise the Lord for Private Christian education where we are not dealing with any of the issues you folks are with public schools. My daughter does not wear a mask to school and her teacher wears a face shield so the kids can see her face. I would encourage families that are not happy with the direction that public schools are going to put your children in Private Christian education or homeschool them. My parents did this for me and my siblings when God was taken out of public schools back in the 80s and 90s. We thrived in Christian education and have all grown up to thrive here in Central Oregon. At my daughters Christian school they start they day with the Pledge of Allegiance, I am sure public schools dont do that anymore. It is possible that the state of Oregon will come for Private schools next but for the time being they are safe from the woke agenda being pushed on public school children. We have plans in place for homeschool groups that will allow our children to be part of a daily community learning with other children. We the parents know what is best for our child, always remember that and act accordingly.

    1. I am afraid you are right, and it is only going to get worse. If you want to keep your kids from being told things that you believe are damaging to them, then you have to remove them from public schools. On top of that, the children in private education or being homeschooled are free from wearing masks or having to deal with all that fear. I know a number of homeschooled kids here in CO and they are all thriving and laughing every single day. No fear, just learning, and fun. I also know some adults who were homeschooled until college and they are doing amazing financially and professionally. In time we will all find out who is correct in this. I know what I have witnessed and it is obvious which group of kids are happier and better educated. I know it takes extra effort to homeschool children, but it is worth it. Every single moment of it.

      1. I was homeschooled from k-8th grade and then went to a Christian highschool and got a soccer scholarship to a christian college. I am a business owner in central Oregon and multiple home owner here, I dont feel me being homeschooled or attending Christian schools held me back in any way shape or form. In fact, I feel it gave me a leg up on life as not only was I well educated but spent more time with my parents learning their values and spent more time learning about God and know I have the best personal relationship with him I could ask for. I am thankful for the sacrafices my parents made for me and my 3 siblings and I am ready to do the same for my kids. My daughter is learning exactly what I want her to learn not what our government wants her to learn.

  15. I agree with Chair Dholakia. The Bend Lapine school Board is acting in the best interests of the children and community. We must not bow to the threats and demands of a strident minority. They are cut from the same cloth as the Tea Party and mouth the same kind of misinformation. The Tea Party lied about death panels being part of the Affordable Care Act; Moms for Liberty, Proud Boys, and their ilk seek to institutionalize unnecessary and preventable death by working to infect as many Americans as possible with the virus that causes Covid-19.

  16. When I hear moms for liberty I run like hell. I find it hilarious that the conservative folky peeps just can’t wrap their heads around wearing a mask to save your old neighbor. You truly are not a good person or a christlike person.

    1. In your opinion that person is not a good person or christlike person. Lets be clear that is your opinion and one I do not agree with. I personally believe that Christ does not care whether we wear a mask or not, he just wants us to treat each other with respect regardless of our differences or differences of opinions. I see that masks are important to you and I respect that. I dont put my faith in a piece of cloth I put my faith in God but if the cloth give you peace of mind, I 100% respect that and respect you for it. If taking the vaccine gives you the feeling of safety from the fear of covid, I 100% respect you and your personal choice for taking the vaccine. Me wearing a face shield instead of a mask does not make me less Christlike nor does it make me a bad person no matter how much you want to believe that. All it means is that we have different opinions on how best to protect ourselves and our loved ones.

      1. 69er, While there are fundamental differences in who our 2 parties pander to, there is little difference in how each party’s members answer to special interests to continue their respective political careers – as evidenced by the over 90% reelection rate in the House of Representatives. It’s good to know there are those out there that see the corruption and ineptitudes of both parties. I hope we live long enough to see a 3rd party that is relevant and represents most Americans – rather than the extremists from the left and right. Keep fighting the good fight my friend.

          1. Sure, it’d be great if centrists from both parties would all join forces – and I appreciate your optimism. Yet, the political prostitution and pandering that both the RNC and DNC require of it’s candidates to stay in office won’t allow for that. We’d benefit from a third party of the many in the middle to keep the wingnut ideologues from both parties in check.

              1. This is where I am at, I am a registered independent. I never vote for that third party because it feels like a wasted vote. I have voted for many democrats and many republicans over the years. I agree with you Barney that a third party would not solve our problem, it would be another side to fling mud at over time. What we really need is to get back to loving each other and listening to each other regardless of how we feel. We have lost the ability to treat others with respect in many many ways. Back to politics though, the moderates on both sides used to be able to have conversations, now we seem to have far left reps in senate and congress and far rights in senate and congress and nobody from either party is willing to talk and sort out differences together. Am I wrong?

                1. No. But there ARE efforts to get us past this hate and divisiveness. Google Braver Angels and the Bridge Alliance (latter is 90 organizations like… did you know there’s a National Institute for Civil Discourse?)
                  Yes, some groups there clearly are on the progressive side of things, but there are others like Braver Angels that has half-red, half-blue board and works at was to depolarize and encourage civil, respectful dialogue.
                  It can be done.

  17. You dont want your kid vaccinated? Fine. Home school.

    Also, educate them as to why they don’t have polio, smallpox, or whooping cough but did catch covid.

    1. Sure homeschool is a great option as is Private Christian schools but what does not make sense your comment on polio and smallpox, those vaccinations have been out a long time, plenty of data on them that shows your kid will be okay after taking the vaccination. I am not against my child getting a covid vaccination but I would like to wait for a few more years until more data comes out. In the meantime we will be at Private schools like we are now or move to homeschool. Many more will do the same IMO.

  18. I fully support the school board, I support the STATE MANDATED mask requirement as well as the vaccine requirement. Complaining about a state mandated requirement is only for those that love to seek attention. Annoying and totally taking away from work that actually has to get done.

  19. People with bad priorities and way too much time on their hands. These are the same people who will raise hell when their kids end up in the ICU on a ventilator. It’s pathetic that our hospital is still close to having to turn away emergent patients because we have 70+ patients in our hospital, and barely a quarter of those patients are vaccinated.

    People are dying, but you care more about your kids self esteem because they have to wear a mask. I’m sorry, but its not doing anywhere near the damage that normal bullying does to a kid. And as far as the LGBTQ+ complaint? Get the hell over it. Its 2021, but 1921, you morons. The time for closed minded bigotry is well past us. Kids need to learn how to be more accepting of people of all kinds, not just hetero-normative. This world will eat them up otherwise. Seriously, stop worrying about masks and LGBTQ+ being taught in school. Get a helmet, and hold onto your butts, because the world is changing, and not the way they want.

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