The Constitution of the State of Wyoming states that the “power is inherent in the people” and that there is to be “equality for all.”
Parents and members of the public in Natrona County School District (NCSD) wants the Board of Education to remember that as a large group came to speak at the Nov. 8 meeting. The majority of public comments addressed opposition to mask and vax mandates.
One mother came to put the board “on notice that if you try to vaccinate my child while he is at school, you will have hell to pay,” noting she had an attorney on standby.
Nothing was on the agenda specifically to mandate masks or the experimental COVID-19 jabs, but the board did discuss how the district would use the $38 million in federal bailout funds, paid for by the nation’s taxpayers, through the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER). While millions of Americans lost their jobs due to authoritarians calling them “unessential,” the largest beneficiaries of the massive federal spending were big corporations and local governments who were called “essential” by the authoritarians, with massive ESSER funding coming from both President Donald Trump’s Coronavirus Aid Relief and Economic Security Act and President Joe Biden’s American Rescue Plan Act.
NCSD has made masking optional, but it’s discussion on ESSER funds gave no assurances they wouldn’t take the authoritarian approach on masks or jabs. Board members later claimed they support freedom of choice, but effectively admitted they would bend to the federal will if they felt they had to.
Jeanette Ward, a mother of two, said her family moved from out of state to Casper in order to escape the mask mandates. She noted there are strings to taking federal funds.
“Federal money always comes with strings, it always does,” Ward said. “We don’t need the money as evidenced by the length of time we went without it. Don’t take the money. There is no money that the federal government has that didn’t come from we the people. It’s still tax dollars. We are paying for it.”
Mary Schmidt called Biden’s jab mandates an “ungodly and unconstitutional executive mandate.” She noted that while the Wyoming legislature failed to prohibit jab mandates during its special session, she hopes the school board will not follow suit.
“It’s not about this vaccine,” Schmidt said. “It’s about our God-given right to free will, and I hope you keep that in mind when Natrona County Health Department comes knocking on your door to come vaccinate our children.”
One speaker, a nurse, said she just lost her job because of the jab mandates, and “our hospital here has had massive amounts of walkouts.” She said there is no long term safety data and told the board not to force the experimental shots on students or staff.
Board member Clark Jensen said “no one that I know of on the board or in the district who has any desire of either of those (mask or vax mandates),” but said “it’s not us” if they come.
Board member Thomas Myler echoed that: “We’re not seeking that sort of thing. If we’re going to get that, that’s coming from elsewhere, not from this board.”
Statements like those suggest the board will cowardly just follow orders with federal edicts.
Several other speakers discussed Rep. Steve Harshman being caught on a hot mic using profanity against Rep. Chuck Gray, both Republicans from Casper, during the special session. Harshman is also a NCSD teacher and Natrona County High School’s football coach, and some members of the public stated he was in violation of the district’s ethics code with his remarks.
Two teachers addressed the board as well complaining about “burnout” asking the district to understand their feelings. Alexis Barney, a teacher at Evansville Elementary School, said “please recognize that these heroes in our classroom are human too,” and “student are struggling with emotional health, how are the adults doing?”