When the United States sends troops into battle with our nation’s enemies, we equip them with the best weapons, protection, and equipment money can buy. Why then, when we are sending our children into battle against the deadliest enemy our country has ever fought, are some school districts and parents sending them into battle with nothing to protect them?

The St. Louis County school district has either declared “mission accomplished!” or “we surrender!” to COVID-19. A quick visit to Northwoods School near Cook on Tuesday, Sept, 7, showed me only about 5% to 10% masking, no signage warning of COVID-19, and no social distancing. Even the hand sanitizer had been removed from last year. In effect, there seemed to me to be no safety protocol at all.

Other districts like Duluth, Esko, and now Hibbing apparently realize the fight is not over yet and that, as far as elementary-age children are concerned, it is more serious than ever. My sincere appreciation for their courage and concern for all their children and staff by mandating masking and other safety procedures.

We have plenty of evidence that schools around the country which give up fighting COVID-19 are losing students and staff, and they are scrambling to deal with messes. I would think Minnesota schools would watch the schools already in session and learn that we are not immune from COVID-19.

All children deserve and are entitled to a safe public education. I would hope administrators and school-board members would educate themselves to the real dangers and act accordingly.

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Bill Conger


The writer was a two-term member of the School Board for St. Louis County Schools, ISD 2142.

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