“To the BUSD Board members, students, educators, and community as a whole…”
Here is a letter written by teachers and staff in the District asking media outlets to get their message out. The views represented are not Eastern Sierra NOW’s. We take neither side in this debate. News reporting is about the middle ground and reporting the situations unbiasedly.
“To the BUSD Board members, students, educators, and community as a whole,
Let us start by saying how much we love the teaching profession. Some have only been involved for a handful of years, while others have taught or served students in an administrative capacity for multiple decades. We know that the education sector is not an easy one, always ripe for improvement, yet we show up every day to refine our craft.
Though things have changed drastically in regards to student interaction with staff over the past 18 months, we still seek opportunities to engage with our students frequently. Students need hugs and bandaids. They are young and have many feelings: sad, happy, mad, lonely and they get hurt. An elementary teacher remarked she has “Never once shunned away a hug or stayed 6 ft away to apply a bandage; Pre-Covid and currently.” It is in our student’s best interest to be available to them mentally and emotionally, especially as they remark how much they trust us and know how we care for them. We always put students first and before “our own health.”
We have varying belief systems among us, conservative and liberal, Christian and Agnostic, some single and some with families; but we all agree that what is happening to our schools and society at large is not ok. The role of an educator in your children’s lives is not to tell them what to think, but HOW to think critically. We are not in the business of indoctrinating to any particular belief system, which is taking place now. At this point, everyone who has had the opportunity for the vaccine has taken it. We do not want to bicker about statistical analysis and how things are interpreted differently depending on bias. We simply want to approach things from the simple viewpoint that no one should be forced to choose between something they do not believe is in their best personal interest and being forced out of the field. We believe in Tolerance. True tolerance, which means you tolerate people who have different opinions than you, not that you need to accept them as your own. We see this in the classroom and always focus on the middle, acknowledging different sides and perspectives without swaying students’ opinions one way or the other. The community of Bishop for a long time has existed in this fashion, and we cannot back down now and let these things divide us. We want to continue to show up for your students and do this for years to come. We humbly ask for your support in this endeavor, to show students that respecting others hurts at times but it’s still the right thing to do, especially when it is unpopular. A Vaccine Mandate for teachers will inevitably harm our community and students more than Covid ever could, possibly resulting in close to 50 staff across all campuses being fired. Additionally, mandated testing medically profiles those that have made a personal choice that they feel is best for them and their family. Write to the School Board, Administration, and Government representatives to make clear that we can support others even if we are not on the same page. Let us demonstrate to the world how a community can come together despite all the rhetoric and stand for each other. If you would like to support us in this cause, send an email to [email protected]
Thank you – Bishop Educators for Choice”
Eastern Sierra NOW will keep you updated on this topic. We have been trying to track down more information from the senders and get more info about this letter.