Posted August 23, 2021
This is a station editorial, I'm Randal J. Miller, station president. The August 4th executive order signed by Illinois governor J-B Pritzker mandating that students attending school in grades kindergarten thru the 12th grade this school year, set off a firestorm of emotion and reaction statewide.
Parents of students filled the meeting rooms of local school boards across the state, demanding that the state policy be reversed by the local board.
Unfortunately, the Governor and the Illinois State School Superintendent made it very clear, that any school district that failed to follow the executive order, would risk state funding as well as not being able to participate in I-H-S-A sports.
There are 2 problems with this approach. First, what the Governor did was nothing more than send an edict down from on high sounding like a dictator rather than a Governor. Not that downstate was going to vote for him anyway, but it is getting closer and closer to the November 2022 election.
The second, and this is the one I have the biggest problem with, is the position the Governor has placed local school boards and their superintendents, who are helpless in the situation other than being a lighting rod for angry parents that need an outlet to express their opinion. Many local school boards in our Taylorville and Clinton service areas, were faced with lots of upset people who wanted action, but couldn't get it unless that school board wanted state funding and the ability to play competitive sports, to go away.
As I've indicated before, we're a country of choices, and all of us have choices to make every day. A student wearing a mask in school, is a decision that needs to be made by the local school board and local parents, not by a Governor's executive order.
Such approach doesn't do anyone any good. People's mental health have already been stretched to the limit as a result of this pandemic the last year and a half. Governor Pritzker didn't have to pile on.
That's our opinion, we welcome yours. Our e-mail address is email@example.com.