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Give the UCPS Board of Education a Vote of Confidence

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On September 14, the North Carolina State Board of Education released 2020-2021 test scores for all school systems in the state. Union County, despite ranking at the bottom in terms of state funding, ranked number one for overall grade level proficiency across all students who tested in grades 3-12. This strong performance in the face of a global pandemic is a testament to the dedicated teachers and staff in our county schools and to the leadership of the Union County Board of Education and their dedication to our children and our community.

In spite of this stellar performance and the Board's steadfast emphasis on keeping healthy students in school for in-person learning, in their 9/20 meeting, the Union County Board of Commissioners opted to vote against a 'Vote of Confidence' motion from Commissioner David Williams. Despite the fact that our Board of Education has done the job they are tasked with doing - delivering outstanding classroom performance and making sound decisions that rely on facts over fear and data rather than rhetoric, three of our County Commissioners opted to yield to political pressure from our state's liberal leadership and other radical voices in Union County. The comments that were made during the meeting by the Commissioners made it clear to all observers that our Commissioners were more interested in their own personal agendas and political vendettas than in supporting a dedicated group of Board members who have defied the odds in the most challenging of circumstances.

Parents and students across Union County agree that we deserve a fair and balanced board that is able to act in the best interests of our children, deliver the best learning environments possible for the most children possible and resist the urge to yield to the partisan voices pushing for one-sided agendas. The leadership and majority on this Board of Education have done exactly that and they deserve our commendation and full support.

As has been so often emphasized during this pandemic, this board is FOLLOWING THE SCIENCE - recognizing that keeping children out of school, forcing them to wear masks and implementing ridiculously strict contact tracing and quarantine standards do more harm than good. Per the CDC's own numbers, children under 18 recover from COVID at a rate of 99.997% - meaning that the car ride to and from school is more likely to cause death than the disease itself. That fact coupled with the new UK study showing that "Long COVID" is largely not an issue for children (https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/healthandsocialcare/conditionsanddiseases/articles/technicalarticleupdatedestimatesoftheprevalenceofpostacutesymptomsamongpeoplewithcoronaviruscovid19intheuk/26april2020to1august2021) and multiple studies showing that children are not material vectors of the disease (https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamanetworkopen/f...), (https://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/146/2/e2020004879), it's clear that our Board is doing exactly what the parents in this county overwhelmingly support - using REAL and CURRENT data to inform decisions that benefit as many students as possible.

Furthermore, this Board's decision to keep masks optional and to allow parents to choose what's best for their children should be celebrated rather than labeled as some kind of controversy. Anyone that spends a little time investigating the issue rather than politicizing it can see that masks offer little to no benefit to our students. Dr. Anthony Fauci himself has stated in his own private emails that were recently made public that "masks are really for infected people to prevent them from spreading infection to people who are not infected rather than protecting uninfected people from acquiring infection. The typical mask you buy in the drug store is not really effective in keeping out virus, which is small enough to pass through material". Additionally, the largest peer reviewed study conducted since the start of the Pandemic, a Danish study with more than 6,000 participants, found no clear evidence that masks give protection from COVID-19. The fact that this issue has been politicized - first by our state leaders and now by our County Commissioners reflects poorly on THEIR ability to use data and logic - not the Board of Education's.

In light of these facts and circumstances, we, the parents and voters of Union County, offer a FULL VOTE OF CONFIDENCE to our UCPS School Board and its leadership.

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