September 18, 2020
Dear Newton School Community Members,
Today will mark the completion of four weeks of the 20-21 school year. With only a few exceptions, this school year feels like any other school year. Students and staff are genuinely happy to be back, in person, learning, teaching, providing services, and socializing with one another. The attitudes thus far have been very positive. This is certainly a testament to our parents and the entire Newton school community in making the best of the circumstances that our country has encountered.
I think it is healthy and wise to live one's life in freedom rather than fear. There is no denying that it's prudent to take precautions and listen to the advice of health professionals and medical experts when it comes to COVID-19. However, when that advice is often translated by the media and those prone to hyperbole and political influences, there is a disservice done to all of us in defeating this virus and getting on with our lives.
While I appreciate and respect the important responsibilities and duties of our elected officials, our state and local health departments, and my colleagues around the area and state, I think collectively, we lose an accurate perspective at times on how to operate our schools and extra-curricular activities. In my opinion, actions taken "out of the abundance of caution" often turns into freedoms and liberties being trampled on.
I have done my best to allow parents and students to make as many decisions about what is best for them in dealing with COVID-19 and attending school and participating in activities. However, it seems that we are faced with a new "order" and new operational protocol weekly that demands compliance or else punitive consequences! As an old Army paratrooper that served our country to protect the freedoms and liberties that so many have died for, I find it difficult to restrict or deny those liberties to our parents and students in the pursuit of complying with an "order". I took lots of orders in the Army. I am somewhat agitated when taking endless orders to address constantly moving targets from elected and unelected authorities.
I hope and pray that the COVID-19 virus becomes only a memory soon. It will!
Only at Newton!!!