Letter to the editor: ‘Grades for masks’ scandal deserves answers from district
To the editor,
Almost two months ago, the ‘Grades for Masks’ scandal at Paso Robles High School became public.
Some of the most political teachers at the high school forced students to obediently wear face masks and penalized their grades if a student did not correctly wear a face mask to the liking of the teacher.
Superintendent Curt Dubost assured the public he would look into the matter and report back. Though three meetings have passed, the public has still not received an answer on this matter from the administration. Soon it with be a fourth meeting. The administration seems to prefer that this awful matter be swept under the rug.
Having spent eight months researching and writing the book “Face Masks Hurt Kids,” I realize what an outrage this is that students were not only masked but graded according to masks. Though this board has allegedly banned Critical Theory, this is the height of Critical Theory — grading a student on some irrelevant and divisive political nonsense rather than reading, writing, and arithmetic.
Instead of Critical Race Theory, it is Critical Mask Theory. It is more of the same interchangeable mindless nonsense. More troubling, though, is the cover-up by the board and administration.
I submitted the following request to the board — a right entitled to every member of the public. Superintendent Dubost and President Chris Arend again refused to address this matter because they needed time to consult legal counsel. This is a very disappointing response to what should be a very clear and public investigation of teachers accompanied by a firing of those teachers who thought it was appropriate to penalize a student as much as a full letter grade on a final grade for not wearing the unsafe and ineffective face mask.
The request to the board is as follows and the community deserves no less than the full and public accounting that is here described:
In February, it was discovered that teachers at Paso Robles High School had graded students based on their wearing or not wearing of a face mask. This was a shock to many members of the community — academic grades were exchanged for face mask compliance. This was particularly egregious given the proven harmful effects of the face masks on the health of the individual and the ineffectiveness of the face mask.
This behavior had been ongoing for some months it appeared. It revealed that clearly a great deal was happening in the classroom that parents and community members would not tolerate if they were made away of this. Parents began to ask about further things that were taking place in the classroom and were shocked. Some of these matters have been brought to the attention of the Paso Robles Joint Unified School District Board of Trustees. Some have not.
The Superintendent assured the board that he would look into this matter and report back.
I respectfully request that this matter be added to the agenda for the very next school board meeting: District Disciplinary Measures For Teachers Who Graded Students Based On Personal Politics and Grades for Masks.
It is my observation that over many instances the district administration has promised a full report on a specific matter at the meeting and then no full report is ever offered to the public. The matter is entirely forgotten. This particular instance of the Grades for Masks Scandal is such a troubling matter that it must not be forgotten.
I request respectfully that Superintendent Dubost address participants at that meeting, issue a press release to community newspapers, hold a press conference to address media and parent questions, and send out a notice to parents in the district about the Grades for Masks Scandal.
I respectfully request that Superintendent Dubost personally address the following questions in a presentation at the next meeting.
- How many schools were found to be involved in the Grades for Masks Scandal ?
- How many teachers were found to be involved in the Grades for Masks Scandal ?
- How many administrators were found to be involved in the Grades for Masks Scandal ?
- How many principals did Mr. Dubost speak to in order to clear up the Grades for Masks Scandal ?
- How many teachers did Mr. Dubost speak to in order to clear up the Grades for Masks Scandal ?
- How many administrators did Mr. Dubost speak to in order to clear up the Grades for Masks Scandal ?
- How many students did Mr. Dubost interview in order to get to the bottom of the Grades for Masks Scandal?
- How many parents did Mr. Dubost interview in order to get to the bottom of the Grades for Masks Scandal?
- What was the total number of classes that were affected? Please provide a clear answer, not a vague answer.
- What was the total number of letter grades that were affected? Please provide a clear answer, not a vague answer.
- What was the total number of students that were affected? Please provide a clear answer, not a vague answer.
- How has this issue been remedied? Please provide a clear answer, not a vague answer.
- How have these teachers been disciplined? Please provide a clear answer, not a vague answer.
- How have the teachers defended this atrocious behavior?
- Have these teachers been reported to the bodies issuing them certification?
- If no, why not? If yes, what has the response been?
- How many teachers have been reported? Please provide a clear answer, not a vague answer.
- Are 100% of parents and 100% of students satisfied with this outcome?
- What has the district done to assure this will not happen again?
- How many teachers have been placed on leave as a result of this Grades for Masks Scandal ? Please provide a clear answer, not a vague answer.
- When did this Grades for Mask behavior begin? When did it end? Please provide a clear answer, not a vague answer.
Thank you so much for your attention to this very serious and very troubling matter. I am sure you will no doubt agree with me that the community deserves to have these matters fully aired and addressed. It is my hope that this can be handled very early in the meeting for the sake of the busy parents, students, and community members who will no doubt want to be involved.
Community activist and author of “Face Masks in One Lesson” and “Face Masks Hurt Kids”
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