Like many of you, I have been enthusiastic regarding the upcoming election where we will elect three School Committee members! I have had the utmost respect for our previous group and am very thankful for their dedication and contributions to our community and, ultimately, to my family. I am also thankful to all of the candidates who are running, and putting their blood, sweat and tears into campaigning so that they may also serve the community. Regardless of any politics, I feel it’s an honorable thing to do.
I guess this is why I’m feeling let down and a little deflated after Wednesday night’s Meet the Candidates event put on by the Women’s Club. I, like many, submitted a question to the School Committee group, which was the following: “The return to full-time in-person learning was a huge decision last year for the School Committee, and they decided on a return almost exactly one year ago today in April. If you were serving on the School Committee at that time, how would you have voted? Would you have voted or advocated a full return earlier, same time or later in the school year?” Pretty straightforward, fair, and, I felt, an extremely important question, seeing as the impact it had on the quality of education, mental health, family life, etc. that remote and hybrid learning models had on everyone in the world, never mind for my family. Holly Morand answered that she would have also voted for a full return in April, Jenn Devlin also felt they made the right decision in April, Jared Pray advocated for an earlier return, and Ashley Fogg also said that she was pushing to go back earlier.
On Thursday, Holly updated her answer on her campaign page and said that she would not have voted for a full-time in-person return until certain (stringent) data points were met and events such as students receiving vaccinations (my children were not vaccinated until January 2022 and kindergarteners have yet to receive theirs) and weekly testing being in place. The more troubling part is that she then commented further, stating that discussing past and future votes (another resident asked about future votes) is “futile” … pointless. My question is futile and pointless? It’s hard not to feel pretty let down by this, misled, insulted and then ultimately … dismissed.
— Kristin Dangelo, Hopkinton
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