Letter to the Editor: Concerns Over Masking Conversations


I am concerned about the tone of the conversation surrounding masks in our public schools. I’m a lifelong resident of Falls Church, and attended the public school system for 13 happy years. In all my years in the city, I’ve found the people to be generally reasonable, kind, and charitable. Because of this, I am especially disheartened to see several unsuccessful former school board candidates attempting to rile up our community, suggesting that the school board and superintendent are somehow trying to discriminate against children who opt out of wearing a mask. Such an argument is disingenuous. As someone who’s watched nearly every school board meeting for the last 6 years (I didn’t just start paying attention last year), I can confidently say that our school board has consistently acted in the best interests of students, and the mask debate is no different. The entire process has been remarkably civil and transparent, and both sides of the debate truly do believe that they are acting in the best interests of students and teachers. I tip my metaphorical cap to each member of the school board for their sincere efforts to help our schools reopen safely. Their work has not gone unnoticed by those of us who care. There’s no political agenda to punish kids, whether masked or unmasked. One would have to wilfully misinterpret virtually the entire discussion in order to arrive at such a conclusion. Falls Church isn’t Capitol Hill. We don’t have backbiting politics here. Not everything needs to be a fight. Even when we disagree, we’re able to find common ground and remain a united community. Thus, I beg the vocal minority in our community to stop attempting to politicize our schools. We’re all rowing in the same direction. Everyone wants the pandemic to be over, and for masks to come off. The process to achieve that has been laid out. Rather than complain about it, just do it!

Brian F. Connelly
Falls Church