Vancouver resident Kelsey Richter shares that she is ‘deeply concerned about not only the safety concerns that would result in banning mask/vaccine mandates but what it would mean for the functioning of our community’
Editor’s note: Opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are those of the author alone and do not reflect the editorial position of ClarkCountyToday.com
On February 1st, it is my understanding that the Clark County Council will be voting on banning mask/vaccine mandates for our county. I am a mother. I am a school psychologist. I am a citizen. I am frightened by the possibility that council members could vote to ban mask mandates.
As a mother, as an educator and as a citizen of Clark County I am deeply concerned about not only the safety concerns that would result in banning mask/vaccine mandates but what it would mean for the functioning of our community.
Here is where we are at in the schools. We are threadbare. Vancouver Public Schools is already sending middle and high schools into a rotation of remote learning because they don’t have enough bus drivers to drive students to school. If masks are not mandated we are jeopardizing the health of our school staff. When we do that, they have to stay home. What happens when too many staff have to stay home? Schools close for in person learning, enter remote learning.
What happens when we go into remote learning? Kids stay home. What happens when kids stay home? Parents stay home.
Schools have been working relentlessly to keep the children of our community safe and in person. With this recent surge in COVID-19 cases schools are NOT fully staffed. There are next to no substitutes available to cover for us when we are ill. Educators who are healthy are working overtime to keep our schools open for in-person learning. We struggle daily to appropriately staff our classrooms across Clark County. We are hanging on, but for how long?
When our schools go into remote learning or shut down, that means our families are scrambling to find care for their children, they are missing work, missing pay, and missing the opportunity to contribute to our economy.
I am pleading with our Clark County Council to vote NO. Vote NO to clear the way for health care services. Vote NO to keep our students in person at school. Vote NO to keep our families at work, earning wages. Vote NO to show that in Clark County we put people first!
Actions you can take:
Submit a statement to the members of the council: https://clark.wa.gov/councilors/write-councilor
Give public comment or sign up to give testimony at the meeting Feb. 1st @ 6PM: