Members of the Board of Education:
During my decades of work in education, I have never written a letter to the members of the Board of Education. Unprecedented times call for unprecedented actions. So I offer my perspective:
It is unconscionable to expect those who have been vaccinated, those who have done everything they can to keep themselves and those around them safe — first and foremost, our students — to be willingly exposed to those who choose not to be. We would not do that in our private lives; asking us to do so in our professional lives is disheartening, to say the least. Even with mandatory periodic testing, everyone is still vulnerable to those who might test positive while we wait for test results.
We work in a public place. In other public places, no one can enter the building without proof of vaccination. It is absurd that one of the most public of places where the most vulnerable among us — who have no choice not to be there — puts students in that dangerous situation by those who are supposed to have their best interests at heart.
We claim to want to do everything possible to keep schools open. If this is the case, it does not make sense to allow staff to choose not to take every precaution available.
The high numbers of students who have tested positive in the short school year should be evidence that we need every adult who has contact with students vaccinated. This should not be an issue of personal preference or opinion: The science strongly supports the efficacy of vaccinations in preventing the spread of the virus.
Our decisions as teachers are supposed to be “research based.” The science supporting vaccination should guide decision making here as well. There should not be a debate, but since there is, it seems to be centered on the classic case of “should the good of the many be sacrificed for the good of the few.” I side with the “good of the many,” and hope you will, too.