Battleground or School Playground?

Speaking via Zoom to anxious parents, one Austin ISD principal pleaded to his audience by saying, “Don’t make the battleground for wearing or not wearing a mask [our] elementary school.”  This admonishment did little to prevent the chat from blowing up in response.

Regardless of their personal stance on the issue, many parents across Texas—and the nation—are now being directed to send their children back to school wearing a mask.  Some families feel relieved and empowered by this development.  Others are furious, promising not to comply, and waiting for Gov. Abbott’s response to these school districts who are violating GA-38.

Administrators already spend too much time on any given day managing silly behavioral issues.  How much time will they now spend dealing with students (and their parents) for mask non-compliance?  Will a failure to wear a mask keep kids out of classrooms?  Will children readily comply the moment they’re out of sight of their anti-mask parent?  Or will they argue with campus staff with the same fervor they’ve seen their family members display on social media?

The point I’d like to make is to leave the heated debates on Facebook.  Regardless of your opinion on masks, please don’t take it to school.  Whether you fall in with Gov. Abbott and his executive order or the mandate passed by your local superintendent, you are still following an order from someone higher up than you.  So let the opposing Powers That Be hash it out on your behalf.

We all want the same for our kids—joy and love, health and safety, a good education.  Most of us have a dog in this fight, but let’s not take our inner pit bull to the carpool line.  Leave it at home, carefully and comfortably crated for a nice, refreshing nap, and unleash it later.  Sic it on someone who can actually enact the change you want.  A teacher or school principal is not that person, and it is certainly above their pay grade to endure the political outbursts of angry parents.

Let’s not fight in front of the kids, folks.

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