News and Opinion from Sisters, Oregon

Stop blocking traffic

It’s time for theatrics around masks in schools to stop. Twice, school board meetings have been derailed by people protesting mask mandates.

Protest in itself isn’t the issue. The right to dissent and to demonstrate are fundamental to the American ethos. Demonstrators turned out for weeks in 2020, lining Cascade Avenue to express their views on race in America. Those demonstrators emphatically made their feelings known — but they didn’t block traffic on the highway.

What happened at the August 4 and September 8 school board meetings was blocking traffic — interfering with the Board’s ability to do its business.

The Sisters School District has its hands full supporting students and teachers in maintaining five-day-a-week, in-person schooling under what are still challenging COVID-related conditions. The District’s focus should be on educating kids and constructing and maintaining its facilities; it can ill afford to use up its limited bandwidth wrangling over a statewide mask mandate over which it has virtually no influence whatsoever.

And it might be a good idea to consider whether bumptious, disruptive behavior that wouldn’t fly in a classroom is behavior that should be modeled by adults from either side of our yawing cultural chasm at a school board meeting.

Jim Cornelius

Editor in Chief


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