Portville Central School Board of Education: The Time has Come to Embrace Local Control. No More COVID Related Mandates.
PETITION PARAMETERS: Who is Eligible to Sign this Petition?
This Petition is intended to be completed by those who live or work in the PORTVILLE CENTRAL SCHOOL DISTRICT, including:
2. Parents and other family members of students
3. Residents within the physical boundaries of the Portville School District4. School administrators and teachers employed by the Portville Central School District or CATT-ALLEGANY BOCES5. Professionals and support staff employed by the Portville Central School District or CATT-ALLEGANY BOCES
If you are a member of one or more of the categories listed above, you are eligible to sign this PETITION.
PETITION to END COVID RELATED MANDATES
Since March 2020, K-12 School Districts have over-attributed power and jurisdiction to the State of New York, oftentimes defaulting to reflexive acquiescence to whatever State or County Health Agencies demanded. The legitimacy of the sweeping powers attributed to the State of New York, its Governor, and its Agencies has either been simply presumed or reinforced with scant or faulty science. In addition, the mandates have been imposed as practical laws despite the fact that public comment was not sought nor was legislative oversight put in place as a way to ensure accountability against arbitrary or discriminatory practices.
As a result, rather than demonstrating leadership on these issues, School Officials and Boards of Education often became little more than mouthpieces for Government Health Agencies. In addition, School Officials and Boards of Education have been used by State Agencies to help carry out the bidding of the State rather than the bidding of the People. The time has come to recognize that Governmental Agencies and the State itself are NOT unlimited powers with the right to impose restrictive, arbitrary, and unilateral mandates upon the People and the School Districts funded by the People. Let us remember that even money which comes from Albany and Washington actually originates from the People.
When the Government takes it upon itself to restrict the freedoms of its people using the argument of a “Compelling State Interest” (as is the case in an "emergency") it is to do so under the standard of “Strict Scrutiny.” This means it is to use the most narrowly tailored and least restrictive means to achieve the interest that is so compelling. The State of New York - including the Governor of New York and non-elected Commissioners of Health at the State and County levels have failed the "Strict Scrutiny" test.
In a succinct statement released on Thursday August 5, 2021, New York State Health Commissioner Howard Zucker returned power to the Local School Districts to make the decisions they should have been making all along. Now is the time for Boards of Education and School Administrators to lead in a manner that is reasonable, consistent with science, and that demonstrates profound respect for the historical and Constitutional fact that We the People are a free people with not just the right but the ability to make decisions for ourselves and our families. We do not need ubiquitous mandates from the State, and indeed such mandates are repugnant to a free and capable people and the children they are raising.
Since March 2020, Civil Authorities have acted recklessly and unconstitutionally by imposing lockdowns, mask mandates, quarantines, and business and school closures. Civil Government lawlessly barred the ability of many from pursuing their livelihoods. The Civil Government has no jurisdiction to deem some "essential" and others not. The Civil Government has no jurisdiction to order individuals to cover their noses and mouths. Some have stated this is no different than "No shirt, no shoes, no service." But they are incorrect. It is different. Shoes and shirts do not inhibit a bodily function that is necessary for life.
Because of governmental and social pressure, we are now experiencing a dangerous divide. We are being conditioned to believe that the existence of communicable viruses creates a new standard of morality whereby a healthy person simply conducting their affairs in society without vaccination, viral testing, or wearing a mask is evidence of criminally or morally reckless behavior. If such a standard for violation of medical freedom is adopted, conceivably, Civil Governments could permanently regulate and restrict every facet of life.
The science is clear. The mitigation strategies imposed upon our society had limited impact in preventing the spread of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Prior to the politicization of masking, research revealed that community masking is ineffective in preventing the spread of respiratory illnesses. The science is also clear that young people face very low risk from the SARS-CoV-2 virus and that they are not the drivers of transmission. However, as a society we have demanded the young bear a heavy burden. This demand has been unnecessary and has been abusive. These same students who face little risk from the virus face grave risk from the governmentally imposed response to SARS-CoV-2. Academic regression and failure. Elevated depression and anxiety. Increased suicidal ideation and actual suicides. Rising rates of substance abuse and drug overdoses. A sense of hopelessness and foreboding about the future as fear replaces optimism. These consequences ought to be considered. Instead, the obsession with SARS-CoV-2 has caused tunnel vision that hurts – above all – our children. If science and truth mattered, these impacts would matter, too. The time has come for us to consider the totality of the consequences of the Governmentally imposed societal response to COVID-19 and to recognize that our children - your students - must be liberated from the oppression we have forced upon them.
As we move forward we petition for the following:
1. No more mask mandates in the Portville Central School District
2. No mandatory COVID-19 vaccination for students or staff in the Portville Central School District
3. No mandatory testing for COVID-19 for students or staff in the Portville Central School District
4. No more funding from the State or Federal government that involves strings and mandates. If the funding that flows from the American Rescue Act or the CARES Act involves mandates - especially mandates related to COVID-19 restrictions - we ask you to decline the funding. The bribe is not worth the loss of local control.
5. We expect our local School Administrators and our local Board of Education to make decisions in collaboration with parents, tax payers, and residents of the Portville Central School District that reflect the best interest of students as defined by We, the Community Members of Portville. We expect your loyalty to be with your students, their families, and this community - not with the State. We expect you to act without fear and to stand for what is true and what is right. We expect you to be aware of the creeping nature of governmental agencies to encroach upon territory that is not theirs - but ours. We expect you to refuse to implement any mandate from the Federal, State, or County governments that is not in the best interest of the students of Portville Central Schools. We expect that your vision will not be clouded by funding and threats of funding withheld.