August 18, 2021 3:50 a.m.
On Tuesday, Governor Kate Brown called on school leaders not to jeopardize the return to full-time, in-person instruction for Oregon students.
A release said Brown issued an open letter to superintendents, school board members, and education leaders, calling on them to take action to ensure that students can return to the classroom with minimal disruptions from COVID-19.
Brown said, “throughout this pandemic, my north star for decisions about our schools has been to do what is best for our students. We know that mental, physical, behavioral, social and emotional health is best served when they can be in schools for full-time, in-person instruction”. Brown said the Delta variant has put that goal at risk and put children’s health and lives at risk as well. Brown said, “But, by again taking simple and effective precautions, we can still return our children to classrooms full-time this fall”.
The release said while most Oregon school districts are moving forward with health and safety plans to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 during the upcoming school year, the governor issued the letter in response to “…troubling statements and the actions from local school leaders indicating they would ignore state law”. The release said several school boards have passed or are considering resolutions opposing Oregon’s K-12 indoor masking requirements. Brown said in one school district, a superintendent encouraged parents to make false claims on behalf of their children by requesting mask exemptions under the Americans with Disabilities Act. The governor called on districts to reject taking actions that defy state and federal laws, and to take action to protect students’ health and safety instead.
Brown said, “Wearing a mask is an act of kindness. By wearing masks, we are teaching our children that they can protect each other in the classroom. That we can all work together to keep each other safe”. Brown said when she visited classrooms in the spring, she saw children who were overjoyed to be with their friends and teachers again. Brown said, “For them, safety protocols were not a burden but a benefit, giving them a reprieve from virtual classrooms and isolation from their peers”.
Brown said she has heard much about personal freedom when it comes to masks in school board meetings and on social media, but she has not heard much about personal responsibility. Brown said, “It is up to us to make clear-eyed decisions based on science and fact. Flouting mask requirement will put everything we have worked towards in the last year at risk”. Brown said without the universal wearing of masks in schools, the Delta variant will spread.
Brown’s full letter to school leaders is linked: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1GAI2Ne7Ao8USl6gdMvtVblz6i_o2F2fp/view
Originally Appeared Here