As a parent of a student at Meadville Area Senior High and the Crawford County Career & Technical Center, I want to express my profound gratitude to our local educators who have endured these past two years of daily hardships with such fortitude and adaptability. I have been especially appreciative of those who have truly embraced trauma-informed approaches, recognizing the immeasurable toll the pandemic has placed on the mental health of our young people.
I heard a podcast recently about the unbearable pressures being placed on administrators and want to also recognize those behind the scenes who are tasked with reconciling seemingly impossible competing demands across hurting, angry stakeholders. As you work to see our children in their full humanity, I want you to know you are seen as well. If you are experiencing burnout and exhaustion, you are not at fault. You deserve our support in keeping the light of learning alive when our community has been mired for 22 months in the toil of simple daily survival.
To my fellow parents, I also want to express so much gratitude to those who have fully vaccinated their children and who guide their children to follow scientific and ethical practices to minimize disease transmission risks for their educators and classmates. To those young people continuing to mask up, thank you for doing your part. As my teenager wisely noted, hiding your acne is an added bonus.
Those who follow news on education have likely heard that teachers (like many other workers) are leaving their careers in droves, leading to staffing shortages that will take years if not decades to resolve. There is an economic idea called "the tragedy of the commons" when public goods, like education, are destroyed through individual self-interest. I worry that actions based on prioritizing individual freedoms throughout this pandemic jeopardize the future of our public schools. If you want to imagine a future where free public education continues as a reality we can all count on, please respect our brave educators. If your children are among the 50 percent in Crawford County who are not yet fully vaccinated, please consider it for our common good.
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