Coercive vs. Voluntary

Here’s what I sent to Franklin Public Schools District Administrator Judy Mueller and all members of the Franklin School Board today:

I encourage you to read the following, “8 Things Children Are More Likely to Die From Than COVID-19, According to the CDC,” by Jonathan Miltimore, the Managing Editor of, the Foundation for Economic Education. His writing/reporting has been the subject of articles in TIME magazine, The Wall Street Journal, CNN, Forbes, Fox News, and the Star Tribune.

Here’s a brief excerpt:

Last week I received a letter from my children’s school district.

“We will start the school year this fall – in-person, five days a week – strongly recommending that all students and staff in our buildings, regardless of vaccination status, wear face coverings,” Lisa Sayles-Adams, superintendent of Eastern Carver County Schools in Minnesota, wrote. “At this time, we are not requiring face coverings.”

Efforts to eradicate COVID-19 through coercive means have wrought great damage. The harms are so vast and so visible that it’s easy to overlook the harms these policies have inflicted on our children—scholastically, emotionally, and mentally—even though they have almost nothing to fear from it.

My school’s superintendent made the right call… making vaccinations and masks optional mitigations isn’t just the proper policy; it’s the morally imperative one. Voluntary action is always better than coercion, and it remains the best way to defeat COVID-19.

You can read the entire column here:

The author also mentioned risk. You may recall my wife testified at the Franklin School Board meeting on May 26, 2021:

Show of hands, please: No judgement, just a simple survey. 

In the last year who has…

Gone outside without wearing sunblock?

Ridden a bike or motorcycle without a helmet?

Participated in sports?

Eaten sushi, a steak cooked only to medium temperature, or Caesar salad?

If you’ve eaten at a restaurant and looked at the menu, The consumer warning clearly states, “Consuming raw or undercooked meats, poultry, seafood, shellfish, or eggs may increase your risk of foodborne illness.”

Driven in a car?

Do you know what it means to “assume the risk” of an activity? Many activities involve an element of risk.  Some are inherent to the activity undertaken such as sky diving.  However, people undertake tasks every day that are less threatening than sky diving. These tasks also require assumption of some inherent risk, despite all exercised due care.  Few activities we undertake involve greater risk than simply driving an automobile.  We risk mechanical failure, road defects, the negligence of other drivers and our own inattention. 
From:  Monsees & Mayer Trial Attorneys website

When our family traveled to Walt Disney World this past March, signs were displayed everywhere with the following reminder: We have taken enhanced health and safety measures – for you, our other guests, and cast members.  You must follow all posted instructions while visiting Walt Disney World.”

An inherent risk of exposure to COVID-19 exists in any public place where people are present.  COVID-19 is an extremely contagious disease that can lead to severe illness and death.  According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, senior citizens and guests with underlying medical conditions are especially vulnerable.

“By visiting Walt Disney World, you voluntarily assume all risks related to exposure of COVID-19.”

As parents we literally assume multiple risks for our children every day we send them to school, starting with the ride there.  Then for eight hours, they could encounter any of the following:

A gym class injury

Tripping & falling on the stairs

Choking at lunch

Tech Ed equipment injury

We don’t send them to school in bubble wrap, we just know that there is by the nature of attending school, a chance that your child MIGHT get hurt.  And quite frankly I believe that THOSE risks are far greater than any of them catching or spreading COVID by not wearing a mask.

Finally, I close with a tweet that was shared on Facebook recently:

Keep FPS mask optional.

One thought on “Coercive vs. Voluntary

  1. Pingback: My Most Popular Blogs (08/16/21) | This Just In… From Franklin, WI

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