CBSD Parents for Sensible Leadership

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The 2020-2021 school year has challenged Central Bucks School District (CBSD), and all school districts across the country, in previously unforeseen ways. As the COVID-19 pandemic shifts and changes, we understand that our school district must evolve to meet student and staff needs for safety and continued top-notch education.

Unfortunately, this year has also brought out extremism, partisan politics, anti-science sentiment, and even defamatory & intimidating threats and accusations from certain community members against CBSD educators, administration, and school board members. These extreme opinions and behaviors have been amplified over and over through social media, newspaper articles, TV appearances and podcasts. Extremists in our community have often been given a platform at school board meetings, railing at the district with demands to remove masks, end social distancing and return to "normal." While we certainly acknowledge the rights of all stakeholders to their own opinions and free speech, we are highly concerned with the narrative that is being promoted that "a masked child is an abused child." This is an offensive and downright inaccurate claim. The assertion that CBSD parents and educators have been abusing our children by following medically-supported safety protocols during this pandemic year is repugnant and dangerous. We do not purport to know all of the complicated factors that have contributed to the board's decisions this year, but we are concerned about recent changes to the board and upcoming decision-making. These extremist viewpoints should not be considered while making decisions about health and safety in CBSD.

We, the undersigned, want to make it clear that we are caring parents/caregivers following sensible, balanced approaches to the health and safety of our children. We are the quieter majority, and our voices count. We may not have been appearing on TV or yelling at school board meetings, but we care about this district, our kids, our educators and our community. We want our CBSD school board to follow the facts and scientific recommendations of both local and national medical experts, with rationality and common sense. As decisions are made for the end of this school year and the beginning of 2021-2022, we ask that extremism and partisan politics take a backseat to the best interest of our children.

Please consider the following:

5/26/21- American Academy of Pediatrics- "In updated face mask guidance, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends the continued use of a well-fitted face mask for children and teens who are age 2 years and older and not yet fully vaccinated... In addition to protecting the child, the use of face masks significantly reduces the spread of SARS-CoV-2 and other respiratory infections in schools and other community settings... Schools, child care programs, and camps are encouraged to continue to support the use of face masks for children and staff until the vaccine is available for younger age groups and vaccinations within the pediatric population are high enough to prevent transmission of SARS-CoV-2."

5/20/21- American Academy of Pediatrics State-Level Data Report- "39,701 new child COVID-19 cases were reported the past week from 5/13/21-5/20/21 (3,903,706 to 3,943,407) and children represented 19.8% of the new weekly cases... Over two weeks, 5/6/21-5/20/21, there was a 2% increase in the cumulated number of child COVID-19 cases."

5/15/21- Centers for Disease Control- "CDC recommends schools continue to use the current COVID-19 prevention strategies for the 2020-2021 school year... All schools should implement and layer prevention strategies and should prioritize universal and correct use of masks and physical distancing."

We, the undersigned, seek sensible leadership within the CBSD school board as these important decisions are being made. Our community has suffered enough divisiveness and inaccurate assertions. Allow us a "place at the table" as we partner with our district, board, administration and educators to make sane and rational decisions for our precious children.

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