Commentary: A call to reason: Booster mandate is punitive and untenable

Posted 2/28/22

This editorial will be straightforward and brief. The issue at hand is clear: why would the Barrington School Committee mandate a third COVID shot for teachers when:

• Our school committee …

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Commentary: A call to reason: Booster mandate is punitive and untenable

Posted

This editorial will be straightforward and brief. The issue at hand is clear: why would the Barrington School Committee mandate a third COVID shot for teachers when:

• Our school committee has not provided the data on which their decision has been made (despite requests from our Union).

• The CDC has knowingly withheld the segment of data of 18-49-year-old adults which is the population that most concerns the School Committee's decision-making.

• Rhode Island is not even mandating the booster shot for health care workers.

As a Barrington High School teacher (I am also a long-time resident and parent), it is my opinion that the conditions imposed by the School Committee were not a cooperative agreement but rather a means for the School Committee to appear less draconian on the surface. Upon a closer look, the terms are not only punitive in nature but untenable. This is due to the inevitable unavailability of test sites over time as well as the accumulative personal costs for these tests that teachers will incur. Receiving the results by the required timeframe will also be out of a teacher's control. 

On a lesser, yet telling, level, the requirement to eat in a separate space is dehumanizing and discriminatory. 

To be at the mercy of individuals who use their authority to upend the lives of the families they were elected to represent without clear and objective data that, in addition, has been reasonably debated, is unconscionable and goes against the core of what it means to be an American.

Jennifer Sapolsky

Barrington 

Jennifer Sapolsky is a Barrington resident and a social studies teacher at Barrington High School. 

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