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So a couple of weeks ago I talked about how the subject of vaccines was now among those that it was probably best to stay away from unless you wanted to ruin a dinner party or other social engagement…it’s just too volatile.  I think you might now have to add mask wearing to the list especially when it comes to the opening of school in a week or two.

I was away on vacation last week and read the accounts of what has taken place at some recent school board meetings including what appeared to be a fairly wild scene inside and outside the Toms River Board of Education meeting last week.

This is all in response to Governor Murphy announcing that it is mandatory that all students wear masks when the bell rings to start the school year in the wake of a surge in COVID-19 cases in New Jersey largely due to the Delta variant.  Just yesterday Murphy announced that all public and private school employees as well as workers in state agencies will be required to get vaccinated by October 18 or they will be forced to get tested on a weekly basis.

That to me was clearly the right thing to do although I am sure there will be some who will argue against it. Also the New Jersey State Education Association is in favor of mandatory vaccines for teachers and also supports the wearing of masks so those employees who violate the order will likely not get much union support.

But I want to jump back to parents and others who continue to make noise about the fairness of the mask mandate for children.  Yes it is terrible that they have to wear them and maybe it should be up to local districts to implement their own policy although I honestly think most school boards are privately happy that Murphy took the issue out of their hands by making a state-wide mandate.  However those parents who insist they will send their children to school without masks are sending the wrong message to them.  There are many rules we live by which we wish did not exist but at the end of the day we need to abide by them.  What some are now basically telling their own children is to live by the rules we like and not the others.

I'm not sure that's the right message to send.

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