By: Bailee Meckley

 This series began with trying to get an interview with the New Superintendent of Townsend school district. Allow me to introduce myself, my name is Bailee Meckley and I am a mom of a 5 month old. You might be thinking, why would a mom of a baby be concerned with what is happening with school age children when her child isn’t even of age yet. I will tell you why, I believe that part of the problem of why this year escalated to people losing God given rights is because people have sat back and told themselves “this doesn’t concern me so I’ll let this play out until it does.”

Well that my friends is where we went wrong, from the beginning we have been told 15 days to stop the spread, that then turned to “Stay home, Save lives” eventually that became “wear the mask or you’re a grandma killer” now we are being coerced with lottery, free scholarships, free junk food laden with poison, and freedom to go back to “normal” if you get poked. Our constitutional rights are non-negotiable, when we start to forget that is where we are in trouble.

“If you allow the government to break the law because of an emergency, they will always create an emergency to break the law.”

Spreading The Word Without Saying A Word Ministry

I believe this last year has been a threat not to our health but the health of our freedoms as Americans. Since the beginning of humans we have been faced with danger, the chance of dying, and disease. One of greatest causes of death is heart disease and cancer. Obesity is also a big one especially here in America, yet actual health isn’t taught or encouraged. We are given band-aid solutions, and make decisions sold to us based on convenience and politicized science. If we as Americans started to make healthier choices starting from the beginning of our lives, I think a lot of these statistics would significantly decrease. 

We have slowly drifted away from using our own minds and intuition to raise our families, and our health and decisions have been put in the laps of authorities that be. We have put everyone but ourselves as parents on a pedestal, and this pandemic is showing that. Our children have lost more than anyone this past year and we have allowed it. All in the name of health, even though children have not been the worry of being “super-spreaders” and hospitalizations of children with Covid-19 have been almost nonexistent.

We have kept them in masks, taken away all fun in schools and extracurricular, and kept them from family/friends. All of which play a huge part in development, socialization, and behaviors as they transition to adolescence and beyond. We have seen more and more problems arise, like anxiety, depression and even as far as suicide rates skyrocket in children, yet we are worried more about a virus that won’t have the long term affects that this is doing to them. 

We are being divided. Its mask enthusiasts against no maskers, Pro-vaccines against medical freedom advocates. We as Americans used to be two sides on one coin. Its okay to disagree, and if you’re being offended that means our first amendment is still intact. Although I think no child should be used as a pawn, no matter your political beliefs. However that’s exactly what is happening within schools.

Federal funding is being held from schools who don’t extend Covid-19 protocols and policies past the expiration date of June 30th, 2021. Esser funds are being dangled like carrots in the faces of school districts and so far Helena and Townsend have taken the bribe. 

I had originally contacted the superintendent’s office to hopefully get a hold of the new superintendent, Susie Hedalen for an interview and ended up speaking with Mr. Wilkerson (current superintendent.) He informed me Susan didn’t start until July 1st, Then I asked about school board meetings and he told me about a few coming up. A school board meeting regarding the safe return back to school was set to be held June 22nd at 6:00 pm and it was especially important because of the policies they were having to extend in order to get $1.5 million in Esser funds

Fast forward to the day of the meeting, I get a call from Mr. Wilkerson stating the meeting time had been changed to 5:00 pm; conveniently moved to a time where the working class wouldn’t be able to make it. Jena Donofrio and I (my mom & editor of Montana conservative news) went to the meeting and the marquee sign on the front of the library building still read “School Board meeting tonight at 6:00pm.” We walked into about 5 total chairs, and one other concerned citizen.

We were briefed on what would be spoke about and asked if we wanted an agenda. The “Agenda” we were given was a few sections labeled, some of which were just policy numbers, no description of said policies. I would call it the top sheet of an entire of packet totaling about 40 pages. As they proceeded to keep saying “We want to make sure the kids get the most normal school year we can give them” they were awfully fixated on updating the school with new roofs, ac units etc. about $750,000 worth.

You’d think that this money would go to something that would actually benefit the kids, maybe some field trips to make up for the last year, new curriculum that’s worth learning instead of propaganda filled learning we are seeing more and more.

In summary, the policies that are extended until June 2024 are 1900,1905,1906, 1906p, 1907, and adopting policy 3413. They are all subject to be edited or reinstated as an emergency order arises until their expiration in 2024. All of these changes have to be put on the school website in order to receive the Esser funds

I believe that schools and those in charge of our children should be held accountable, because they are shaping our future. If we should ever be presented with the choice whether to let those in charge dictate how our children live 7 hours a day, I think we should take note of how this last school year has escalated. We have seen what a 15 day shutdown to slow the spread could turn into, a year and a half later here we are.

As of right now masks are “optional” in Townsend school district but isn’t that how it should’ve always been? That’s what we used to call freedom, when we used to have autonomy over our bodies & our families. We should not have to ask for our children to breathe freely, nor should we be told what is best for their health. If we don’t stand up now, when will we?”

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