*The Island County Free Press received a letter presented to the Oak Harbor School Board on 2/8*
To Lance Gibbons and All School Board Members,
We the undersigned, as concerned Americans and frustrated parents and grandparents, worry about what will transpire in the Oak Harbor School District if careful action is not taken. Public education throughout our country, and especially in our local communities, is on an irrevocable and harmful course. The Oak Harbor School District must not get caught in this trap. Our schools are drifting away from their mission to provide a sound grounding in fundamental skills and knowledge and to uphold the values of their local communities.
Children are being indoctrinated and “re-programmed” from critical thinkers to mindless non-thinkers where they are being taught not how to think, but what to think. Voices are being silenced because they do not align with the current narrative descending on us from political partisans and self-appointed authorities. Students are being conditioned to not ask questions, to be curious, or to even search for their own answers.
We need look no further than the high school’s suggested reading list relating to racial injustice. The suggested readings advance an ideology that advocates the dismantling of the nuclear family, gender irrelevancy, racial shaming, and so on. The result of these teachings—apparently the desired result—is that our children are being taught to feel ashamed of themselves for characteristics they have absolutely no control over. It is imperative that we unite instead behind our founding principles and ideals and make sure our children understand the history of their own country and how special it is.
Oak Harbor has a long history of support for both our country and our military, along with a strong commitment and devotion to God and our families. Members of our community need to know that our school district is dedicated to upholding the values and integrity of the community it serves. Although the majority of faculty and staff in the Oak Harbor School District pride themselves on their commitment to protecting our children’s well-being and providing a quality education, and truly want what’s best for all our students, policies adopted by leadership appear to support an agenda-based curriculum we do not want for our children.
One example of poor leadership (or a lack of courageous leadership) is the implementation of harsher- than-needed Covid-19 restrictions in our schools. We have had only four cases of students contracting Covid-19 in our entire school district, two of which weren’t contracted in the school, yet the Covid restrictions our students must adhere to, i.e., wearing masks outside at recess, walking taped off aisle- ways in school hallways (similar to the herding of cattle), and the “cohorting” of classrooms would make one think the district is flooded with the virus. These restrictions don’t foster education, social interaction, or emotional development. Instead, these restrictions are like a comical and distorted reenactment of the movie, “Outbreak.”
Never in our history have we isolated the healthy. Never in our history have we isolated children out of fear. The district appears to have chosen to rely on studies that are more political and bureaucratic than scientific. Fact: children contract Covid at such a minimal rate with a severity metric so low that the CDC hasn’t even assigned a number to it. Fact: children do not infect others at a rate that justifies treating them more restrictively than youngsters incarcerated in juvenile hall. What crime have our children committed to deserve these harsher sentences?
We implore this board to name just one school in the entire nation where there has been a massive Covid-19 outbreak. Just one. The ever-growing, unjustifiable restrictions being imposed on our children have absolutely no scientific basis. Without facts, your restrictions are based on fear, misinformation, or propaganda. We do not support decisions made out of fear, incompetence, bullying, or ignorance. We ask you to respect our rights as Americans who live in a free society based on law and commonsense, not one manipulated by fear or politics. This board has the authority and the parental support to drop the current restrictions and open our schools for the benefit of our children. We ask you to do so. Let our children back into their classrooms and let them get back to learning.
One more thing. The school district would like our community to support their levy, yet we’ve heard of teachers requesting leaves of absence and suggesting no in-person instruction because they are afraid of Covid but, again, neither the numbers nor the facts justify these demands. We are here to support our teachers but only if they are doing their jobs. We want programs that benefit our students but not at the cost of putting our children into a system that does not support our values. We cannot support a school levy that does not support our children and their education.
Attached are links where you can find scientific and medical evidence debunking Covid misinformation. We thank you for your time and we appreciate your consideration of our concerns.
Sincerely, Jessica Thompson, Suzanna Amazquita, & Chelsie Warner
Beth Anna Counsellor
Vernon Counsellor II