On Sept. 28, the Pocatello-Chubbuck school board failed to protect the young people in the community by backing down on mandatory masking in our schools. The future outcome of COVID-19 among our young in Pocatello and Chubbuck will lie in the hands of parents who feel this virus is a joke and refuse to get vaccinated or wear a mask.
I heard from some who say mandates infringe on their constitutional rights or other rights they like to quote. Well, I would venture it is the right of health care workers and emergency responders to refuse to put their lives on the line for someone who refuses to get vaccinated or wear a mask and are taking up needed beds in the hospitals, forcing physicians and nurses to decide who to treat. Stay home and take care of yourself.
As far as I am concerned, those who are not trying to help curb COVID by not wearing a mask or getting vaccinated should have no rights to our health care system when they get COVID, and they are infringing my rights to Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness. Stay home and read a book.
The school board members (elected to care for our young people) allowed themselves to be bullied. They bowed down to selfish parents wanting to have their way. It is always the same: “If it is not my child, what do I care?” Until it hits home. The school board nor parents care about the teachers in the classroom who face the danger of contracting COVID every day. Teachers do not receive combat pay, and we are in a war with COVID, and in Idaho, it is a war zone.
Nowhere in the Constitution or other documents that people like to quote about their rights does it say that teachers must put their lives on the line for kids of parents who refuse to get vaccinated or wear a mask. Teachers have put their lives on the line for the students when shooters have entered our schools, threatening their students. They should not have to do so when there is a proven solution to curtail the danger. They are not making enough money to put their lives on the line for ignorant people.
Across the nation, COVID among our young people is on the rise. But Idaho is exempt, I guess. You know that state that is at the top of the list with the number of COVID cases per capita. I guess Idahoans are proud of this No. 1 ranking. We are number one in something.
The school board now follows the Pocatello City Council in their refusal to protect youth or the city.
Ram Eddings of Pocatello is the former coordinator of the Idaho State University Diversity Center.