by Travis Mateer
Recently some upset Superintendents in Montana sent a letter to OPI’s elected leader, Elsie Arntzen, to describe their upset feelings about her allegedly deplorable leadership. Here’s how the totally NOT conflicted Daily Montanan is reporting this hissy fit:
Asserting that Superintendent Elsie Arntzen’s leadership is “creating serious deficiencies” and undermining public education as a central tenet of democracy, the top leaders of the state’s AA schools are demanding the head of the Office of Public Instruction restore the agency and start supporting schools instead of “throwing rocks at local school districts.”
While the Superintendent of my kids school wasn’t a signatory of this letter, I DID speak with Heather Schmidt on the phone after she dragged Target Range into the controversy over a dumb comment made in jest by Quentin Rhoades. Here’s the reporting on how SERIOUS Heather took this THREAT:
Target Range School District Superintendent Dr. Heather Davis Schmidt sent an email to staff Wednesday regarding an incident at a community meeting Monday.
According to Schmidt, during the public meeting, an attorney who has filed a lawsuit against several local schools regarding their universal mask mandate made a threat to superintendents, saying “shoot ‘em.”
“In the school environment we take all threats seriously, and I take this one seriously,” Schmidt said. “I am in the process of making a formal complaint with law enforcement and the Missoula County Attorney’s Office.”
Now, with this framing in mind, you might be thinking I’m about to get SUPER CRITICAL about how Heather Schmidt is leading my kids’ school, but since the dreaded OMICRON variant was discovered, I have finally had a change of heart about the THREAT we face, and now I think Heather Schmidt is doing FANTASTIC!!!
Let me provide an example.
I attended a band concert–fully masked of course now that OMICRON was stalking me–and all the anxiety I felt about these little OMI-spreaders giving me the deaths evaporated when I saw that not only were the kids wearing masks, SO WERE THEIR INSTRUMENTS!
After my relief and astonishment wore off, I started wondering…who had the lucrative idea to sell the school district instrument-masks? Or was this some kind of DIY ingenuity from the PTA or something?
Since I was wearing my “parent hat”, I resisted the urge to find someone to field my inquiry (on a side-note, this “wearing hats” idiom is an actual thing. It’s kind of like how I’ve had to shift from aggrieved documentary film maker with The Roxy to artist/citizen journalist).
What I’m trying to say is Elsie Arntzen would benefit from embracing all the amazing opportunities fear and political opportunism can create, especially if a corporation and/or public sector union has your back.
Now, what other holes could benefit from a little fabric-armor against OMICRON?
Have a nice weekend!
Why do you not have.a photograph of the “instrument masks?” Can you describe with more detail what you’re talking about? If, for example, you are talking about some sort of barrier placed over the edit end of a wind instrument, that may seem ridiculous to you but it makes perfect sense. This would.be especially so since it isn’t possible to play a wind instrument while wearing a face mask. I seriously can’t tell whether you’re describing an actual thing, or just made it up as a literary device.
As far as the stupid hype over the omicron variant, the point is well taken. There is no evidence that omicron (or any other variant) is intrinsically more transmissible than another. Epidemiological data re case numbers showing rapid spread of infection by.a variant don’t prove that it is intrinsically “more transmissible.” There will be scores more variants that gain traction before the pandemic abates, which is likely to be another 2-4 years due to the irrational and abysmal low rate of vaccination. In counties such as ours. The price paid for that will be hundreds of thousands of unnecessary deaths of people of all age groups, as well as long-term neurological deficits afflicting hundreds of thousands more. It’s interesting that in some societies, donning of masks during outbreaks doesn’t evoke mandates because the culture has social norms under which doing so is simply considered the polite and honorable thing to do. Take Japan, as an example. Of course, Japanese dept. stores don’t employ armies of loss prevention personnel, cameras, etc. because shoplifting isn’t a significant problem. Similarly, 24-hiur beer vending machines appear on Tokyo sidewalks from which a home could procure as many 2-liter mini-kegs as one’s pocket money and carrying capacity permits. When I asked a local whether there was a minimum drinking age, the person was confused by the question but ultimately said that kids and teenagers buying alcohol from vending machines wasn’t.a problem because it is just understood to be a bad thing. Cigarettes are a different issue. But back to the mask phenomenon (which is in full bloom every flu season), people also don masks when in public or at work, when they have colds. It’s worth noting that in the 80s to at least the early 2000s (after which I have no personal knowledge), Japanese hotels confined American visitors to one or two floors. Maids wore full hazard suits as they cleaned rooms on those floors. Only in.certain districts would bars and restaurants serve Americans. Pink triangles adorned the outer surface of windows of the American-only hotel rooms. This was part of a serious national effort to prevent HIV/AIDS from taking hold in Japan, as A.ericanz were deemed the main threat. It was a well Into that pandemic before the first HIV cases were reported in Japan. I don’t condone that sort of discrimination, but OTOH it was a reflection of the selfish, arrogant attitude and behavior of the typical A.erican. Cuba did the same sort of thing for several years. The virulent opposition to basic public health measures means in the U.S. means it will be at least a couple more years before adequate ‘herd immunity’ develops here. That delay makes it more likely that a variant that truly poses a particularly dangerous threat will arise. It’s also possible that SARS-CoV-2 will ‘evolve itself out of human threat status,” or that it will e here to stay, with periodic immunizations becoming the norm as with flu. BTW, in the last 18 months here in Montana, more people have died of COVID-19 than have died of influenza in the last 16 years. .
I didn’t read this whole comment, but you questioned the reality of masks for instruments, and I want you to know they really do exist: https://www.nemc.com/masks-and-bell-covers/