School masking policy teaching all the wrong lessons


Here we go again. COVID on the rise, more than 615,000 American deaths into the pandemic — with 14,000 of them Hoosiers — and Montgomery County’s schools are choosing to throw any lessons learned into the trash.

Crawfordsville School Board met in special session Wednesday and voted to make masks optional, even though the delta variant of the COVID virus is spreading like crazy and hurting children at a higher rate than ever. They did so against the recommendation of our county’s health officer, the Indiana State Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Crawfordsville joins North Montgomery and Southmont school boards in the decision that the freedom to go without masks is more important than their responsibility to keep our children, teachers and community safe and to do our part to put an end to this pandemic.

Let’s consider what life lessons Montgomery County’s schools have taught our children by making this decision:

What have our children learned about safety? While most of us have jobs that put safety as the top priority, our children have learned that their safety and that of others is less important than the political agendas of their parents and school board members.

They have learned that it’s more important to our elected officials to win elections than it is to make informed and responsible decisions on behalf of society and the community they represent, as difficult as it may be.

Our children have learned that their “freedom” is more important than any personal responsibility that they have for the safety and wellbeing of others.

Our children have learned that science is nothing but one group’s opinion. They’ve learned that the opinions of laymen, the less-educated, the non-specialists, and conspiracy theorists are equally as valid as the doctors, scientists, and specialists who spend their professional lives studying their areas of expertise. They have learned that professional agencies and organizations that represent the sum of knowledge in specific fields are unimportant or untrustworthy. They have learned that science is subject to their own opinions, and that they get to choose whether or not they want to “believe” in facts. (I guess their cars, phones, computers, medicines — and, yes, vaccines — must work by magic.)

They have learned that putting their faith in God to fix a problem and doing nothing about it is more righteous than using the talents and tools God has given them to do something to fix it.

They have learned that “Don’t Tread On Me” means it’s unreasonable to ask people to wear a mask to protect others, but allowing them to spread a preventable disease, causing further mutations in the virus and prolonging the deadly disaster, is apparently not treading on anyone.

They have learned that they are growing up in a community that thinks a little thing like wearing a mask to serve their country and neighbors is just too much to ask. They have learned that doing what they want is more important than doing what they should. They’ve learned to throw caution to the wind. They have learned apathy.

The school year hasn’t even started yet, and there’s so much learning going on already. I just can’t wait to see what else they learn this year. I can only hope the lessons are better than what was taught by the school boards’ decisions on masking.


Brock Ervin of Crawfordsville contributed this guest column to the Journal Review.


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  • ghendricks

    They somehow have turned this into muh freedoms and choices. What about my choice to smoke in public? What about my choice to not wear a seatbelt? What about the choice to have an abortion that they want taken away? The only choices they want are the ones that they agree with.

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