No, it’s not the year 2000 and we’re not talking about Brittney Spears.
Our own Trustee Nancy Gregory was caught yet again at a large, crowded indoor event without a mask just one week after she voted to keep masks on our students and teachers and limit activities and visitors for another six weeks (at least).
This isn’t the first time she’s done this. She also chose to attend the ISBA Conference maskless with over 500 other attendees, also mostly unmasked, last November even though Idaho hospitals were still under crisis standards of care.
Monday 2/21/22 and Tuesday 2/22/22 was the ISBA “Day on the Hill” where school board members and district administrators from around the state met with legislators, attended forums, workshops, committee meetings and watched Floor Proceedings.
In sharing the excellent news that the ISBA chose to withdraw from the NSBA, Idaho Ed News and video from the hearing show Gregory masked in a KN95 surrounded by unmasked individuals on Monday 2/21/22 during the Senate Education Committee Meeting.
This is absolutely her prerogative and offers her some protection. She’s not wearing it correctly, since she is holding it away from her face thus negating any potential filtering capacity it might have and also spreading potentially infectious germs to her hands but, again, she is free to wear it..
What Idaho Ed News didn’t show, however, but is visible via the committee hearing video and was captured by an attendee is that Trustee Gregory chose to remove her mask for her testimony about all-day kindergarten. Furthermore, the video from the committee hearing shows her folding the inside of the mask together, handling the front of the mask during most of her testimony, touching the mask down to the podium and not washing her hands after touching it, all of which promote the spread of germs and violate CDC mask handling procedures here and here.
How often did she choose to go unmasked the two days on the Hill? Does she frequently go without a mask in crowded, indoor spaces? Is she always so careless with her mask, which could potentially have covid, influenza or any other myriad of dangerous pathogens on it? We don’t know. But we do know that she took advantage of the choice to attend an event with unmasked crowds and wear a KN95 to offer herself at least a little protection (had she worn/handled it correctly). We know that she had the choice of removing her mask while speaking at the podium and took advantage of that choice. This is a luxury our teachers and students don’t have when they’re speaking (or even participating in PE). We also know she did not have to fear reprimand, detention, removal from the building or other consequences that many of our students, staff and parents fear every day.
And yet, even though she chooses to attend large events with unmasked crowds and sometimes (often?) chooses to unmask in those crowds herself, she still keeps BSD students, staff and parents operating under strict COVID protocol. She chose to keep the current pandemic protocol in-place at the December 2021 board meeting (one month after attending the ISBA Conference unmasked) and voted to maintain the strict covid protocol including mandatory masking and limited activities/visitors for another six weeks just one week before testifying at the Statehouse, unmasked.
Our hospitals removed crisis standards of care the day after the February board meeting; case rates in the community and the district have been plummeting for a month; our trustee in the demographic most likely to experience severe illness from COVID is attending large, indoor events while incorrectly wearing/handling her mask and sometimes choosing not to wear it; and yet our students and staff must wait at least five more weeks (perhaps longer, if the district once again extends the implementation date) before BSD will offer them the same choices.
Trustee Gregory thinks she can choose best for herself which events to participate in and when to wear a mask or not, and she’s right. She absolutely can make those decisions best for herself. But she denies those very same opportunities and choices for the students, parents and staff within the district she oversees.
Don’t forget to sign our masks optional petition and subscribe to our mailing list www.BoiseSchoolParents.org
Email Nancy today and let her know that it isn't right to keep mandating our kids and the staff to wear a mask all day when she has the luxury of not wearing one inside a crowded room.
Tell the board and Superintendent Dennis to end this mandate sooner than March 28th.
Side Note- The House passed H0631 the prohibition of mask mandates. The bill is sitting in the Senate Affairs Committee as of yesterday, Feb 22, 2022. Please e-mail your senator, along with those listed below, requesting the bill receive a hearing in Committee. CWinder@senate.idaho.gov