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BOYCEVILLE — Three district residents appeared at the August 18 meeting of the Boyceville Community School District’s Board of Education to tell members of their concerns about the use of masks in schools.
Carol Breslin along with Debbie McHenry and her daughter-in-law Sarah McHenry spoke to board members about what they believe to be the deleterious effects, both physically and psychologically, on young learners.
Breslin was the first to address the board during the visitors’ welcome and comment portion of the meeting held in the Tiffany Creek IMC.
Below is Breslin’s statement to the board in its entirety.
“Hello, my name is Carol Breslin, and my address is N13607 County Road Q. I am a resident of the Boyceville School District.
Thank you so much for taking the time to listen to me, and for the work that you are doing to ensure that our students receive the quality education that they need and deserve. I truly do appreciate it!
I no longer have children in school, so this is the first Board Meeting I have attended here at Boyceville.
It is not the first school board Meeting that I have attended in the last several months, though, as I have become increasingly concerned over how the public school system is affecting our most valuable resource – our children.
My concern this evening focuses on the health of our kids – both physical and emotional. I have worked with children for the last 40 years in many roles – childcare provider, Sunday school teacher, nanny, sleep consultant, etc., and in that time, I have paid particularly close attention to the subject of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, because 33 years ago, I lost a niece to SIDS, so I’m more sensitive to the dangers than someone who has not been affected by it.
Since the “Reducing the Risk” and “Back to Sleep” campaigns were introduced in the late 80’s, early 90’s, there has been a reduction in the average number of deaths per year of 73-83 percent – this is HUGE, and nearly every single recommendation of these campaigns has one thing in common – avoiding the pooling up of Carbon Dioxide near the face and re-breathing it.
My point in talking about this is that we are now asking our kids to wear masks for hours on end, essentially trapping the poisonous Carbon Dioxide next to their faces and mouths.
How can this be considered safe? In my strong opinion, it can’t.
On August 9th (nine days ago), Dr. Fauci said in an interview that “Hopefully, making young kids wear masks won’t have a lasting negative impact on them.”
How is this OK? Where are the long term studies? There are none!
I realize that doctors and nurses say they wear masks all day and they’re OK, but their bodies and their brains are fully developed – our kids bodies and brains are NOT!
Why are we willing to risk their physical health for a virus with a 99.997 percent survival rate among children ages 0 to 19.
Doctors and scientists have been unable to determine why infants die of SIDS, but they have successfully reduced the occurrence by 73-83 percent by reducing the amount of Carbon Dioxide being breathed in.
I’m also very concerned about the emotional well being of our kids. I currently nanny three children, two of which are school age, and this is VERY hard on our kids – they don’t know whether they’re coming or going. They’re always waiting for the other shoe to drop. They know they’re powerless against this – they love school, they love their teachers, they love their friends, and they love predictability and stability. All of these things have been taken away from them in the last 18 months.
They were given no notice when they moved to distance learning in March of 2020, they worked through it. They were adaptable. They were strong.
For the last 18 months, they have gone with the flow, and now they’re done! They know that it doesn’t make sense when they were notified on a Tuesday evening that they would not be able to attend in-person learning for two weeks because of “close contact” on the bus the previous Thursday. This means that they were on the bus and in the classroom with their peers on Friday, Monday and Tuesday, but now they’re a danger?
Again, for a virus with a 99.997 percent survival rate! The nine year old looked at me and said, “If we’re still wearing masks and doing all this in a year, I will kill myself’.
This got my attention, this should get your attention, this should get EVERYONE’s attention!
It’s time for us to stand up for our children. It’s time to listen to them and advocate for them.
In every board meeting I have attended recently, I have noticed that the majority of parents and the majority of school board members do realize that masks are not good for our kids, they’re just afraid to stand up and say it.
I’m saying it. Please get these masks off our kids faces and let them breathe fresh air and run and play and be who they were meant to be.
Deb McHenry then stood to address the board telling its members that she has lived within the Boyceville School District all of her life and has grandchildren that are currently attending school there.
“I appreciate so much what you said Carol,” said Deb McHenry turning toward Breslin.
“I just respected it so well because it is a big concern of mine as well, the welfare of our children,” added McHenry in reference to the use of masks in schools.
“The whole idea is that children should see smiles, they should be seeing faces, it’s just not healthy,” said McHenry of mask wearing.
But McHenry expressed other concerns beyond masking such as the controversial Critical Race Theory.
“But another concern that I have, and I know many parents in the school district do as well, is there’s all these issues out there, Critical Race Theory and how we’re teaching history to our children,” she stated.
“There can be boys in the girls’ locker rooms,” McHenry continued. “I sent a personal email to each one of the board members asking them how they felt about it, and how our school stood on it, and I have not heard back from anyone, and that really concerns me.”
McHenry expressed to members that parents and community members want to know what our children are learning.
“I want my children, my grandchildren to have an education of excellence. I want them to know truth,” she continued.
McHenry feels that things that are included in some educational curriculum is “just so crazy and just so wrong”.
“I want to know what their (children’s’) school is saying. Why is it quiet? Critical Race Theory, where do we stand? Are we going to have boys in the girls’ locker room?” asked McHenry.
She went on to tell the board that she helped with her grandchildren when they were doing virtual learning and was disturbed by a worksheet that her grandson, then in the second grade, had received that purported to call Christopher Columbus a wicked man.
“Where is this coming from,” McHenry wondered aloud. “And what else are they teaching our children.”
“Our history is so rich, we have such an amazing story, our country has, and it is being turned around,” stated McHenry.
“I never doubted this kind of stuff before and trusted the teachers overall but where is this stuff coming from? I want my kids to know truth,” she concluded.
Sarah McHenry then addressed the board saying that she has been in the Boyceville School District since she was in kindergarten and thanked the board for making masks optional for the upcoming school year.
“I think that’s a big move on your part for our kids education,” said Sarah McHenry. “Being able to see facial expressions and interaction and stuff is very key for our kids, besides just the things that they learn in class as well.”
Sarah McHenry also asked the board that if the district feels that it is unsafe for our children and masking once again becomes mandatory that the board make sure it is the right kind of mask, ones like the N95 mask, that science has proven to be effective.
“If you feel that our kids need to put masks on, make sure we have the right ones and if we need to invest in them, as a district, to make sure all our kids have the right ones, please consider that,” concluded Sarah McHenry.
The Boyceville School District did update its return-to-school plan at the meeting which now makes face coverings optional for students and staff. The CDC, however, does still strongly recommend the use of masks when riding on any school bus.
During reports from the administration team, TCE principal DeeAnn Thompson noted that there appears to be an increase of 18 students for this coming academic year at the elementary which houses pre-kindergarten through sixth grade.
Middle school/high school principal Tyler Moy told the board that the intervention block/homeroom period was being moved to the end of each day and that the format has changed to allow students to be back in front of their classroom teachers on a rotating basis. He said this will provide students with nearly an extra 35 minutes contact each day with a teacher they have for class.
The board also dealt with several personnel matters.
It approved the hirings of Stacie Kurschner to fill the 3-hour per day food service position, Hope Butler as a middle school paraprofessional, Jennifer Barstad as a full-time custodian in the middle school/high school, Holly Coombs for the dance/cheer advisor and Amanda Bishop for a 1-year, ESSER-funded teaching position.
The board also extended a regular contract to Joshua Hopper as the full-time instrumental and general music instructor for grades 7-12. Hopper had been approved to fill a one-year contract for the same position the previous month but when circumstances changed recently he was tabbed to take over the position on a permanent basis.
Finally, the board accepted the donation of 22 small engines from Fox Valley Technical College valued at $3,300. Former agriculture teacher Val Berends had applied for and received the donation.