Positivity Needed

Since the last time I posted anything, I have started several drafts. In each one, I complained about something going on in the education space today. That’s why I did not publish them.

Staying positive has been a challenge this school year, and no wonder. To stay positive, however, I will segue into more optimistic topics. Keep me to my word, dear reader.

Supportive Groups Are Starting to Speak Up

After many months of listening to some weird and dangerous ideas promulgated by those who don’t want to wear masks or get vaccinated, some are starting to speak more forcefully about both controversies-that-should-not-be-controversies.

While authority starts from the top down, assertiveness rises from the bottom up. That is true within groups and within the individual.

Individuals and groups are forming to counter those who think they are asserting their rights to be unhealthy around other people. They are refuting misinformation and disinformation. They are mobilizing.

It’s not just teachers’ unions. Medical professionals are joining the cause. The Department of Justice is joining the cause after members of learning communities were threatened. Parents are getting involved. School boards are protecting themselves. Courts are responding to governors who think they have the right to jeopardize public health.

Local newspapers are starting to speak out too. One recent editorial, for example, discussed a school board’s reckless actions regarding quarantine protocols. School boards around the country are starting to cave to the wrong side. Within the school board membership itself, there are arguments. We cannot let that happen.

We need more local papers to voice reason and hold those in authority to account. We need to be more assertive, and many are now understanding that.

This Is an Opportunity to Reignite Local Journalism

Perhaps more editorials will help revitalize the news deserts that now exist in smaller communities losing their local papers by drawing readers. That’s another important story. With the lack of local news, misinformation and disinformation proliferate on Facebook, Twitter, and other social media outlets. We all need to know what is happening in our communities, and we need journalists to help us find out.

When I was a kid, our local newspaper was thick, chock full of news from the neighborhoods it reached. Now, my mother showed me a recent edition of the paper, and it’s about 10 pages. It’s not that things stopped happening, but that local papers are dying. Let’s reignite local journalism!

Let’s Protect Each Other

Negative, and sometimes violent, stakeholders in education have bombarded school boards, administrations, teachers, and staff recently, as many of us already know. Mask mandates and vaccine protocols have dominated the discussion.

The news reports tell us horrifying things happening at school board meetings, for example. Now, supportive groups are raising their voices in protest — including the Department of Justice in the United States.

There’s only so much misinformation and disinformation that can “leak” into the ether and “seep” into social media before the conflict becomes one in which the two sides need to confront each other. Thus far, those of us on the side of public health have tried to be civil. We should remain civil and become more assertive simultaneously.

Going negative, or becoming violent in response to those who have chosen to be violent, will not help. There are solutions, assertive solutions, to be had.

Perhaps the best argument I have heard is simple: “You do not have the right to endanger others’ health.” If you don’t want to wear a mask and you don’t want your child to wear one, well, try cyber school or homeschool. You don’t have the right to endanger another person, full stop.

Our legal system can attest to that. It should, and it has in certain cases. We need to continue in that vein. It stops the argument among those of us who want to be good citizens. Those who don’t will still try, but I think that percentages will change as a result of making that argument.

Thank you for reading this post.

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