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Letter to the Editor

 

Shelly Ochodnicky, Owosso

4:31 pm

Independent Editor,

What is the end game?

    I have proudly served the Owosso Board of Education for 12 years. I would have never imagined that this is where we would be today. Our district held a special meeting to decide on keeping in-person learning, with or without masks and so on. This led to a 6-1 vote. My vote was the only vote against online learning through Thanksgiving break and then ten days of mask mandate. I want to share why I chose to vote against this.

  We are over 18 months into this pandemic, which started with a shutdown for two weeks to flatten the curve.

   I think we need to consider many things before we move forward with continuing the practice of going online, testing, masking and quarantining of our healthy students. We have parents who can’t bring their healthy children up to test daily at 7 a.m. due to lack of transportation or missing work, so these children have to stay home to quarantine. We have parents who chose to not test daily because they don’t think testing daily is a healthy option and or do not want their healthy child in a mask for the 10 days. So those students stay home. We have staff trying to do double duty for students in class and at home creating more undue stress on staff. We have children out of school more than in school. We are creating more stress and anxiety on our already thin crew of staff and to our parents who have to work, teach from home, trying to find daycare and most of all, the undue stress and anxiety that we are now creating mental health concerns on our healthy kids who long to just be back in school normal. We are creating unnecessary anxiety, stresses and fear in our children who are the healthiest population and least affected by COVID. If we shut down to stop the spread now, what’s next? We all go off to Thanksgiving to start this all over just before Christmas? And then after Christmas break we do this again and then spring break? We also now know that the vaccinated are getting sick and spreading the virus too. This leaves us with more questions than answers. It’s time to stop treating our unvaccinated students and staff differently than our vaccinated population. We are not placing these drastic measures on the rest of our community? We aren’t contact tracing or quarantining healthy adults that are hanging out at the local pub, theaters, family gatherings and sporting events.

   It is time to allow parents to be able to make these decisions. For 18 months parents have felt as though they have had basically no say in their own child’s schooling and health. No one knows the needs of their children better than the parents.

   Obviously, if a student has symptoms, we will send them to test and isolate etc.

   We, as the school board, are the elected governing body whose job it is to educate the children in our community. We work for the parents and voters. I feel we are overstepping our powers when we are telling our parents how to care for their healthy children. We can offer the guidance that has been put in place by our local health department and parents can consult with their doctors with all of the information to make the best decisions for their children. But ultimately, the decision for the child should be made by the parents.

   I believe our children need to be in school learning. We cannot have a repeat of last year. These drastic measures are hurting our children and placing them further behind.

Respectfully,

Shelly Ochodnicky, Owosso

Shelly Ochodnicky, Owosso was last modified: November 23rd, 2021 by Karen Elford