The woman featured on the Aug. 27 front page who moved her family from Bend to Crook County to avoid mask mandates in schools may have inadvertently solved some problems. She’s decided to homeschool her children.
We’ve read that some teachers/ staff in schools may leave because of mask mandates thus creating a shortage in schools. If all parents opposed to mask mandates decided to homeschool, then there possibly would not be a shortage of teachers and staff in schools. Seems like a win-win for Central Oregon school systems.
— Bonnie Kenner, Redmond
The problem with teaching critical race theory in public schools is that it is teaching racism, meaning judging everybody by their race and not by their character or their culture.
The Bend-La Pine school district has, as The Bulletin stated, “embraced initiatives promoting diversity, equity and inclusion.” All of these focus on race. The problem is that race is a construct while character and culture are meaningful individual qualities.
Parents are upset because the public schools are teaching their children that they are oppressive racists because of their race and teaching other children that they are oppressed victims because of their race. We Americans have endeavored over the past six or seven decades to eliminate judging people on the basis of race, yet public schools are teaching the precise opposite.
The Bulletin also compared objections to critical race theory to century-old objections to teaching evolution. The critical difference is that evolution is undeniable science, while critical race theory is merely race-based politics. Bend-La Pine Schools promoting racial diversity, racial equity and racial inclusion is teaching critical race theory. Parents of Bend-La Pine students and residents of the Bend-La Pine school district should vehemently object to that. It’s just wrong!
— Dennis Sienko, Bend
I was recently summoned to serve a four-week term on a Deschutes County grand jury panel. What an eye-opening experience! Serving alongside six other citizens, I discovered a slice of life in Deschutes County very different from my own, learned so much about our laws, and interacted with highly professional law enforcement people.
I came away with a greater appreciation of the Oregon State Police, Redmond Police Department, Bend Police Department, Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office and all the people involved such as 911 operators and dispatchers. In addition, I’m grateful for citizens who report crimes, be they victims, neighbors or passersby.
The district attorneys who presented cases to our grand jury were knowledgeable, professional, thorough and compassionate with their questioning.
I have so much respect for these professionals with a huge caseload, seeking justice for our community. They patiently explained Oregon laws and associated charges to us so we made good decisions.
My respect and gratitude for all who work to keep us safe in Deschutes County was strengthened during my grand jury experience. They deal with crime every day while I was only exposed for four weeks. When you receive a summons to serve on grand jury, I encourage you to do your part as a Deschutes County citizen and answer the call to serve.
— Nancy Miller, Bend
I am the parent of a Redmond student, and, like so many others right now, I am tired and stressed.
After witnessing several chaotic school board meetings, I made the decision to remove my child from the school district. It was a difficult decision, but one I made out of concern for the safety of my child — safety that I cannot rely on the school district to provide.
We have now heard the professional opinions of countless medical experts who support the mask mandate, but most of the Redmond School Board continues to push back and instead give their attention to the loud few demanding respect for their “personal freedom.”
We have been handed the tools to address this pandemic, and they are being scoffed at. This is not leadership; it is ignorance.
For me, the hardest part of raising children during a pandemic has not been having them wear masks in public (which they do frequently, without complaint), rather it has been having to explain to them why some adults insist on behaving so selfishly. I hope the school board starts making better decisions, but, for now, my trust in them is gone.
— Jordan Portier, Redmond