Letter: Why am I able to keep my job while they lose theirs?

Posted 11/10/21

To the editor:

Once again this week I was disappointed with the leadership of our town. I was disappointed, but not surprised, because over the past year our leaders have been tone deaf to reason …

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Letter: Why am I able to keep my job while they lose theirs?

Posted

Once again this week I was disappointed with the leadership of our town. I was disappointed, but not surprised, because over the past year our leaders have been tone deaf to reason and dialogue. They have been authoritarian in their decision making, all in the name of doing what is best for our town. Saying it is for the greater good somehow gives you some degree of moral authority I guess.

When Covid struck in 2019 the world was caught off guard. It was frightening and it did not take long before the fear overtook reason. At first we just needed to flatten the curve to make sure hospitals were not overrun. We did and even though many died, in time there was improvement. Eventually vaccines became available and as more time passed attention was given to treatments for those who contracted the virus as well. Monoclonal infusions became an effective weapon, and now a Covid pill that reduces the need for hospitalization has been successfully tested in Europe and awaits FDA approval in America.

With ever increasing vaccination rates and therapeutic treatments we have reason to be hopeful. But we have become obsessed with eradicating Covid from the face of the earth and we have forgotten our original intent, to flatten the curve and then find a way to manage the virus.

We have a President who promised that there would be no vaccine mandates, only strong encouragement for people to avail themselves of them. Not only has he broken that promise, he has pushed vaccine mandates with what he thinks is the full force of the law. 

As I write this though, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals has just stayed the Biden Administration's Federal Covid 19 vaccine mandate stating “Because the petitions give cause to believe there are grave statutory and Constitutional issues with the mandate, the mandate is hereby stayed pending further action by this court.”

In the meantime, Barrington has once again chosen to make decisions that are unyielding and hard hearted. This week we saw the Barrington School Committee strip employees of their jobs for refusing to comply with that federal mandate, even if their refusal was based upon religious reasons, medical reasons or natural immunity.

Like all teachers, I taught in person through Covid for the last year and a half, venturing out of my home when others got to remain in the safety of theirs. In the spring of this year I made the decision to be vaccinated, but I also respect those who did not make that choice. I teach with some. They take precautions for others and themselves by masking, maintaining social distance, and regular testing. 

They could contract Covid and they could spread it. I guess that is the basis for terminating their employment. Of course their students and colleagues could also get Covid from going to their soccer games, the grocery store, the pharmacy, Gillette Stadium, The Dunk, their friends’ homes, the local restaurant …...

Unfortunately, I can contract and spread Covid too, and I am vaccinated. Why am I able to keep my job while they lose theirs, when I can cause the same repercussions you fear from them? 

No good decision is ever made when it is driven by fear. I urge the School Committee to reconsider their decision. These teachers need to be reinstated. If you don’t do it, then the Constitution has provided us with a remedy for redress of grievances and the judicial branch may well do it for you.

Mary Teixeira

Barrington

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