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to the Editor

LETTER to the Editor

Speakers did disclose sources

To the editor: In response to the article written in The Hastings Journal on September 2, 2021 regarding the Hastings School Board’s vote on masking children age 2 - 8th grade, I submit the following information.

The article specifically stated that the speakers did not disclose our sources.

That statement is false. Each of the speakers advocating for personal masking choice did, in fact, send all of our research and cite the sources that we used to educate ourselves on the dangers of masking to the School Board prior to speaking to the Board on August 25th. I personally sent the School Board five separate emails between August 11 and August 25 containing my sourced references.

We received very minimal response from the Board or the Superintendent regarding the information we provided. As we looked for guidance on the process and possibility of speaking to the School Board regarding this issue, we were forced to call the district office to find out that the Board was allowing 7 speakers a total of 15 minutes.

During the meeting, instead of spending the 120 seconds we were given reviewing the sources we had already submitted, we chose to provide a summary of the hours and hours of research we had done. Unfortunately, just minutes before we were to speak, the Board increased our speaking time from 2 minutes to 5 minutes, by then it was way too late to alter our prepared speeches.

I have included the only two responses I personally received after sending my emails to the Board. You can decide for yourself if the Board was transparent and helpful in guiding or supporting us as speakers in any way.

Based on Kelsey Wait’s response, it appears she did not look at any of my 5 emails until the morning of the board meeting.  The sheer amount of information I included in the emails, letters and sources I provided 15 days before the meeting would not be possible for someone to read through in such a short amount of time.

On Monday August 16, I asked Dr. Mc-Dowell for the sources and science used to determine that masking our young children was safe and effective. As of today, September 10, I have yet to receive one source or piece of science used to make this critical decision.

One last clarification I would like to make is that we were referred to as an â€oeanti- mask group, another false statement. Our belief is that those who would like to wear a mask should, those who chose not to wear a mask, based on their own research and beliefs, should not be forced to wear one especially since there are obvious detrimental effects that have surfaced upon reading the scientific literature.

Melissa Millner DC, DACCP, FICPA