Schools & Mask Mandates, Oklahoma Politics Come Under Fire
Here we are, weeks from a new school year, and districts all over the state are having the same discussions they were a year ago. How can they make regular in-person school unassumingly safe for kids and teachers? I know the debate is currently raging on social media in my little Northern Oklahoma hometown. Whether politically charged or backed by religious sentiment, it seems there are two sides to the argument, and very few moderately in the middle on whether kids should go to school this year in person, be required to wear masks, or just skip right to the virtual learning they all leaned on last year.
This entire argument started back in late May when Governor Stitt signed into law Senate Bill 658 that states, or the gist of it being, school districts and certain public buildings in Oklahoma could no longer mandate a requirement for students or the public to wear masks or have an expectation or requirement for vaccinations - AKA - like most pieces of legislation, a giant waste of taxpayer money in passing meaningless feel-good base-stirring legislation. I mean, school was over, the pandemic was winding down, what was the point of it beyond giving pleasure to voters? Is that a metaphorical hit on one side of the isle or the other? No. Both sides play the game and they're all pretty much worthless.
So as it stands, since the school system in my hometown can't require masks for students and staff by law, they're playing the politics with the government saying they might just cancel back to school and start straight back into virtual learning from day one. It has every parent, Karen, Jared, and adult in that town foaming at the mouth to share their individual opinions in order to make every other parent, Karen, Jared, and adult see things as they do... and I'll be honest, it's sort of fun to sit back and watch.
For the record, my tiny hometown wasn't for or against wearing masks last year. There was no mandate, but each individual business was free to set their own terms, and the people either complied or shopped somewhere else. Covid numbers never surged beyond a regular statistic. No businesses were shut down by the city government, life pretty much went on as normal as possible in a socially distant existence. Seeing how free and easy going the citizenship was in that town back then and comparing it to the problems they're experiencing right now, I can't help but fear what kind of idiotic things are flying through the local governments in places like Lawton, Altus, Norman, OKC, Tulsa, and any other place where councilors and mayors way overstepped their elected authority... but then again, with elections coming up, it might be a good time to remind people how poor their judgement can really be.
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