In Springfield, legislators figure if they vote with the majority, they can avoid criticism.
I sense a similar attempt at herd immunity in the unanimous School Board vote in favor of remote learning and opposed to a hybrid model for Crystal Lake Central, Crystal Lake South, Prairie Ridge and Cary-Grove High Schools.
The following was taken from the end of this YouTube video. which 6,119 people had viewed as of yesterday at 5 PM.
“As of Sunday,” members of the Crystal Lake High School District 155 Board “were struggling with this decision (whether to go remote or adopt a hybrid model).”
That is what Board President Jason Blake said after everyone voted in favor of rejection of the hybrid learning plan that the vast majority of students and staff were reported to have desired.
“It may not be the right thing, but it’s the best plan we can come up with, given the information we have,” Board member Dave Secrest explained before the vote.
He revealed that his two grandsons lobbied for opening school, his teacher daughter’s opinion was mixed, while his wife, a retired District 155 nurse was strongly in opposition.
“We absolutely should not be back in the school at this time,” Secrest quoted his wife.
He said he believed the decision was in the “best interest in the community in the long-run.
“We may be wrong.”
He told of the six committees that met this summer on the hybrid plan.
“Teachers, staff and administrators were coming in on their own time.
“The Board has no axe to grind here.
“We’re just trying to do what’s right.
Also speaking before the vote was Board member Tom Vaclavek.
He said he 16-year old son and his friends “want to come back to school.”
The boys wanted to come to the meeting to speak to the Board, but he discouraged them.
“Overall, I’d say 95% of parents I talked to want the kids to go back to school.
“I’m in favor of delay for a short period.”
He was critical of the decision’s being “based on last minute posturing and threats from various people in the community and the very vocal minority that was up in arms about coming back to school.
“We’re doing this because we want to make sure our teachers are safe.
“We don’t want somebody dead because of a decision we made.
“Trust us that we want to get back, but we need to do it safely.”
After the unanimous vote, Board President Blake has some comments.
He expressed disappointment that “the committee” had already left.
“I understand that some of you are frustrated.”
He told of most of the Board members’ indecision as of two days before the meeting.
“We have to think about liability going forward.
“This is a safer decision at this time.
“We were not pushed by any organization.
“We were trying to move forward.
“A lot of the confusion that we had going forward was that we were getting getting some inaccurate data.
“I’ve heard some inaccurate data that I’ve never heard from the [teachers’ Association] saying that sixty percent do not want to go back.
“We never saw that any of that information.
“So, we have to go with what we have.
“We know that eighty percent of the teachers , based on our survey, wanted to go back.
“…what you are seeing in front of you is about ten percent of the effort.
“There is a lot of communications that goes behind the scenes.
“It has to be that way for us to function as a governing body.
“What you are seeing is governing in front of you right now…
“Some of the educators and the emails that they sent to us were very disappointing.
“We do not support that.
“Our District 155 does not support that from the educators.
“We work as a team going forward.
“The things we saw come through were very disappointing.
“I speak as President of the Board.
“And I hope the Board echoes my thoughts.
“I’m also disappointed with some of the tactics that were used from some of the organizations that are out there on the floor right now.
“There was some miscommunications.
“I’m hoping this is a one-time thing.
“We’re very open and can communicate with each other.
“I promote teamwork.
“This Board supports teamwork going forward.
“And I’m disappointed with the Association and some of the communications and the tactics they used going forward.
“I hope this is because of the stress level of covid.
I hope we can come to some sort of agreement going forward to commit to agree or disagree on these things but that we do it with open foro and with open communication going forward
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All seven Board members were endorsed by the teachers’s union.