Letter: Standing up for our kids | VailDaily.com

Letter: Standing up for our kids

This evening I attended my first Eagle County Board of Education meeting. My purpose was to advocate on behalf of the children who have been forced to wear masks for the past year based on school board policy.

The energy and momentum in the room was palpable as so many local parents and community members attended that we extended beyond the school board room, into the lobby and even further into the overflow room. Their presence communicated a powerful message that the issue at hand is one of deep significance and concern for many in our community. Speaker after speaker spoke out on behalf of children’s rights and shared their distress about how COVID-19 mandates have been negatively impacting our children.

They noted physical harm, psychological damage, academic regression, mental health, and a loss of freedom. Attention was drawn to the “state of emergency” of pediatric mental health declared by Children’s Hospital Colorado the day before because of the increased attempted pediatric suicides.

Throughout the meeting, I was inspired by the love, passion and concern conveyed by parents and community members again and again. As the public comment time expired, members of the school board addressed their overarching priority, which wasn’t the children. Rather, it was a contract with the teacher’s union. The contrast couldn’t have been starker — or more ominous for our children.

Heather Bergquist

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