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One year ago, the students at Chesapeake schools went on virtual learning for two weeks following the Christmas vacation to give the students and teachers time to recover after the holidays of travel and visiting family and friends. This was to protect everyone from exposure to any new cases of COVID-19. This was definitely a good move.
This year, the omicron version of COVID-19 is rampant, exploding into new cases every day. The students and teachers have had a full two weeks of vacation, including travel and possible exposure to the new strain while visiting friends and family. So, what does the Chesapeake School Board do, but lift the mask mandate against the advisement of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Gov. Ralph Northam’s state mandate for all students to wear masks in school. What were they thinking? This decision puts both teachers and students at risk of exposure to the disease, which is everywhere, because no one knows who is vaccinated or not, or possibly even an asymptomatic carrier. Is this what is best for everyone in the schools? Is this the best solution for protecting everyone’s health and safety? Just exactly who are we protecting?
Bonnie Wilson, Virginia Beach
Re “An honest man” (Your Views, Dec. 27): The author of this opinion seems confused and unaccepting of the fact that the former Old Dominion University president was described as “evasive and combative” by an independent investigative report into allegations of sexual misconduct that took place at ODU. The idea that someone could be a “compassionate, caring, talented and enthusiastic leader” while also obstructing an investigation of his university’s handling of a serious matter doesn’t seem to compute. Therefore, the Nixon Peabody report must be untrue, or at least should not have been made public.
The author doesn’t seem to realize that former ODU President John R. Broderick, for all his many accomplishments, is still a human capable of making mistakes, even serious ones. His engagement with students and faculty and dedication to the best for ODU does not preclude dishonest activities in an attempt to protect an institution he’s tied to closely. As a proud ODU alumna myself, we would be better served by accepting the fact that Broderick is both: a man with “honesty, integrity and openness” and a man who in some circumstances didn’t live up to those ideals and values. To be human is to be complex, to do both right and wrong.
It would be a mistake to think his legacy is tarnished by the Nixon Peabody report. It is simply what all our legacies are: a recounting of our successes and failures, which others can look to for guidance, caution and inspiration.
Miriam Powers, Portsmouth
Re “Student loans” (Your Views, Dec. 24): In response to letter writer Emily Oscar (and also for all other student loan recipients) asking that the student loan repayment moratorium be continued and/or that her student loans be forgiven because she cannot afford them, all I can say is that she made these loans knowing that she would have to repay them and their associated costs.
Loans allow people to receive college educations, and if they use them effectively should allow them to earn more income than those of us who do not have a college education. It sounds like Oscar was working two jobs before the moratorium to pay her loans off but instead of continuing to pay, or maybe even make extra payments, during the moratorium when every penny would have went toward the loans’ principal and would have helped pay them off sooner, she quit paying and quit her other job.
Why then should I and other taxpayers now pay those loans for college graduates and make their lives easier when they ignored the opportunity to pay them off sooner? We taxpayers are not their mommas and poppas. Stop wanting to be the grasshopper and be the ant. Your actions. Your responsibilities.
Michael Harp, Virginia Beach
Been doing this living thing for 76 years. In all those years somewhere on this place we call Earth, we were at declared or undeclared war in some form or the other.
Military contractors made trillions of dollars while American women and men died defending us from all enemies.
Watching the local and national news, and reading this newspaper, I didn’t read or hear anyone mention that this was our first Christmas not at declared or undeclared war.
I am not a religious person, but whatever your apostle is rejoice.
Robert J. Horst, Virginia Beach
Regarding the issue of whether to protect kids from certain books, it should be stated that for a child to read a book knowing that his or her parents would not approve is completely different from a child reading that same book knowing that his or her parents (and adults in general) say it’s OK. If you don’t understand that difference, you need to go back to school.
Jim Crutchfield, Virginia Beach