(Editor's note: This has been edited to correct this sentence: The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has already promulgated multiple times that masks are only optional when "social distance" is impracticable.)
Dear Superintendent Jon Fernandez and staff:
1. I realize your tough position caught between Adelup's seesaw policies and having to deliver a consistent education. Believe me, to a smaller scale, I feel your pain as a father of four schoolchildren.
2. I wrote to you a year ago regarding any type of forced medical procedure such as random COVID-19 testing on kids. You clearly said you had no such plans in your reply. But it seems a government overreach into my children's autonomy is underway or at least seriously contemplated. If random testing starts in the classroom setting, you will see a backlash in the form of a mass exodus of parents. Once random testing is implemented, you will see the mass exodus of parents and they will make your staff miserable during the process. Trust me.
3. I am a part of several local groups against government mandates that take away children's right to learn without unnecessary impediments such as masks and jabs. Why masks? The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has already promulgated multiple times that masks are only optional when "social distance" is impracticable. In our classrooms, 3 feet is easily achieved especially with two cohorts which reduce a whopping half of students for in-person classroom instruction in the name of public safety. Many parents are already talking about leaving the island, or homeschooling, or UNschooling. Many teachers in our groups are planning to leave the island for better jobs stateside. Is brain drain what you want? School already is short of proper teaching staff.
4. Forcing weekly testing on children to participate in sports will also be met with resistance. Students have already expressed their intent to take their dissatisfaction to the streets. If this seesaw continues ... I don't see how we the adults will be able to keep the adolescent indignation under the lid. Be discreet and mindful of the watchdog parents. Please don't take the appearance of our silence as our weakness. Don't take the appearance of our silence as our weakness. We're almost at the boiling point.
5. Staff, we know many of you personally, and love and support you. So let's keep this civil. Don't encroach upon our children's bodily autonomy. This is a very friendly, concerned admonishment speaking on behalf of many watchdog parents. We demand a properly advertised town hall meeting for parents to express their serious opposition to random testing of our unjabbed children in the manner of 1960s overt segregation in the American South. Many awakened parents are on to the government agenda to increase unwarranted control over the God-given inalienable rights and choices belonging to our children. The school system is already in shambles. Your ill-informed policy choices will literally stall the island children's growth for generations to come.
Sammy Ahn is a lover of Guam's hafa adai spirit and a resident of Piti.