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The Public Pulse: School districts, mask wearing; Biden's failure

The Public Pulse: School districts, mask wearing; Biden's failure

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The Millard school board should require mask wearing, a Public Pulse writer says.

Schools, masks

I write in response to Millard Public Schools’ most recent school board meeting (Aug. 16). Like many Omaha residents, I have been confused and surprised by local school districts’ varying responses to the recent resurgence of COVID-19 in our state. As the delta variant has increased its spread over the past several weeks, medical experts have reached a general consensus in their recommendations for schools.

For instance, the American Academy of Pediatrics, unequivocally recommends that “all students older than 2 years and all school staff should wear face masks at school (unless medical or developmental conditions prohibit use).” Given such consensus amongst medical experts, and the rising COVID numbers in our state, it is deeply troubling that only a few school districts in our community have implemented mask mandates.

I hope that school board members in MPS, and in other districts that have thus far resisted implementing mask mandates for this school year, will be able to transcend politics and uninformed theories for the sake of their constituents (even if/when their constituents are unable to do so themselves). If we want to maintain our commitment to accessibility, access and equity, we must make decisions about health safety with our most vulnerable students, families and staff in mind. If we want to protect all children’s mental health, we must ensure that all children are able to continue in-person learning throughout the full school year. Therefore, all public schools in our state should maintain mask mandates until medical experts change their recommendations.

Kristin Girten, Omaha

Appearance counts

I am a huge Husker fan. I like Scott Frost. He has a proven track record of success at Oregon and UCF. He’s been more than a bit unlucky in his first three seasons. I still believe he’s the right guy to fix Husker football. The one thing I don’t like is his look. As long as we’re hiring analysts, how about an image/wardrobe consultant for the head coach? Come on, Scott, drop the surfer dude look and take five minutes out of your busy day to shave.

The picture in The OWH after the recent press conference with Trev Alberts says it all. That was not the look of a championship football coach. A more professional look on the sideline and at press conferences might be the springboard to more wins. GBR!

Gerry Reinsch, Omaha

What a failure

If there was any question remaining about whether President Joe Biden is competent to fulfill the duties of the office of president of the United States, it was answered in negative with his speech on Monday the 16th. The entire country, indeed the world, wanted an explanation as to why this debacle, this embarrassment, was happening. Instead his lawyers/advisors sent him out to give the classic law school straw man speech. This is a tactic that sets up a false and easily discredited proposition as the main issue but is meant to hide the real question.

This straw man is easily destroyed. Biden’s straw man was that remaining in Afghanistan and continuing the war was something that was still to be decided and he was resolute that this would not happen; oh, the strength of his convictions! The real fact was that the withdrawal was not in question; the real question was why was this failure unfolding before our eyes. His resolve was canard.

Did we get an answer as to why this exit strategy was unraveling before our eyes? No. What we got was an explanation that it failed not because he failed in the decision-making process but because the Afghan president fled; that Trump made a policy decision Biden had to follow (there’s a first); that the Afghan army fled. Oh yes, the buck stops with Biden, but only after blaming all the foregoing, none of which had the responsibility to have a cogent exit strategy in place.

At the end of his statement he conveyed the view that he is a legend in his own mind. Perhaps he should read the book by Robert Gates, President Obama’s secretary of defense.

Jerald Rauterkus, Omaha

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