A loaded question inherited from generation to generation. 2020 will be no different and I can’t help but think of the impact it’s having on today’s youth.

Are we making educated and rational decisions surrounding the mask mandate enforced at our schools or are the decisions being implemented falling along political lines?

The mask debate has people strongly divided, spewing scientific data and political beliefs like weapons of war aiming to cut deep and change the minds of others.

Parents have tried to voice their concerns to the Amery School Board and School Officials, only to feel as though they are falling on deaf ears. Why are we ignoring the impact that “mask mandates” and “quarantine” have on the emotional, mental, physical health, and behaviors of our healthy children? What is our plan for moving forward?

The District’s “Stay in School Plan” and “Learning Model Matrix” are updated daily with the number of students who test positive. What’s not displayed are the number of students who are being quarantined and the duration.

Perhaps, we need a shift in our perspective. Last year, without warning, our kid’s lives were turned upside down. They were removed from schools and parks and playgrounds were wrapped in caution tape. Panic filled the air and children were banned from public places. What did this look like to them?

Yes, kids are resilient, but do they feel this is punishment?

Today, their school day is entirely different. It once resembled a place parents could gather to celebrate their children. Parents can no longer walk their children to their classrooms or view the proudly displayed artwork that lines the hallways. They no longer look forward to the visitor lunches, where guests and family could drop by unannounced to surprise them and meet their friends. Today, they sit in every other seat at the table. The Library once held book fairs but today, books are quarantined between uses, chairs are used as barricades, and tape lines the floor to direct traffic. Families used to gather, support, and celebrate student-athletes for sporting events. Today, spectators are limited to 1-2 people depending on the sport. Field Trips and rewards days are now a thing of the past...

It may be hard for adults to comprehend the reality of their school day because we can’t see it; the parents and public have been kicked out!

Stephanie Jansen

Amery, WI

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