To the editor:

At the school board meeting Monday, many came to buck mitigation that would be in place for the school year. What was expressed by the board was a reflection of the state guidelines currently, only requiring masks on buses. There are no recommendations of mitigation/distancing in school.

That didn't prevent public commentary criticizing the board for their best efforts last year to keep kids/staff safe. One speaker even told the board that "executive orders aren't law" which drew cheers.

These folks don't understand the laws and potential consequences for defiance. These were not executive orders, but mandates. Governors under a state of emergency, can issue mandates, which hold the same weight as laws. Consequences for not abiding by mandates can include a stop of federal funding, which amounts to more than 60% of the budget, or being sued.

The most concerning part about not understanding what would happen in not complying, is that the need for mitigation increases by their inaction. Not vaccinating causes increased transmission, resulting in more severe techniques necessary to counter. That's why we had to shut down and go hybrid/distance in the first place. Thirty-eight states are now seeing an over 50% increase in cases due to the Delta variant. We're setting ourselves up for failure by not taking any measures to mitigate/vaccinate. Inaction isn't a solution, and last year is proof. About 50% of the country is still not vaccinated.

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I applaud the school board to both comply and keep kids safe in school. It's not going to go away by ignoring it. Please, use critical thinking and put your emotions aside. COVID is a public health issue, not political. If you don't want more severe measures again, take action. Get vaccinated, and let's flatten the curve.

Jeremy Vinar

Alexandria, MN