The COVID-19 pandemic has damaged our compassion for one another. It, like so many things in recent years, has divided us. We most certainly have one thing in common, however, we want this pandemic to be over with as little loss of life as possible.
Until COVID-19 is behind us, many of us must continue making difficult decisions every day, with real-world consequences. Here in Laramie, we know that roughly half of our community is unhappy about the current school district universal mask requirement, and the other half is comforted. Likewise, for our fellow Wyoming school districts without mask requirements, half of their community is unhappy and the other half is comforted.
COVID-19 has created a no-win situation.
Our school board, principals, teachers and administrators are human beings. We are your friends, neighbors and family members—and not one of us wants to cause stress, strife or worse yet, harm.
While disagreements about our educational system can be constructive, we’ve found that this pandemic has brought out the very worst in us. As Senator Alan Simpson so wisely said, “Hate corrodes the container it is carried in.” It’s a great reminder that when hurting others, we are also hurting ourselves.
We need your help in putting a stop to the vitriol, serious threats, insults and personal attacks. We are also asking for your understanding and perhaps a bit of compassion. Each of us takes our responsibilities as educators very seriously, and whether you choose to believe it or not, we are all doing the very best we can during this no-win COVID-19 era.
Jubal C. Yennie, Ed.D.