BY GUY PAGE ON
His administration’s plan to quiz students on where they spent Thanksgiving struck a “guilt nerve” and a “resistance nerve” as shown by vehement community pushback, Gov. Phil Scott said at his press conference today.
Social media and the phone lines to his office have been laden with criticism since the plan was announced Tuesday. He and a WCAX reporter said some school districts are refusing to comply.
Today, the governor defended the policy by explaining parents are now used to being asked questions about travel; parents would be asked first online, and their children would be asked only if parents didn’t respond; parents concerned about either them or their children responding could just keep students home for a week, then have them tested for Covid-19.
The governor also said he is encouraged that Vermonters willing to observe Thanksgiving within a single household exceed the national average. He also said he’s aware some school districts have refused to ask children how they spent Thanksgiving.
The uproar began after Scott Tuesday announced at his twice-weekly press conference these two measures:
- The Monday after Thanksgiving, Vermont school staff under direction from the Agency of Education will be ask returning students and parents if they traveled to other households for Thanksgiving dinner. If they answer yes, the students will be required to attend school via remote learning for at least 7 days.
- Gov. Scott said businesses will be urged to ask employees the same question. Again, if the answer is yes, they will be asked to quarantine.
At last week’s press conference, Calvin Cutler of WCAX asked if it’s realistic to expect that enough people will tell the truth. “I’m just hopeful they will, for the good of everyone,” Scott said. “In the anticipation of that question, maybe you [listening Vermonters] ought to cancel some of the plans you have made.”
Doesn’t that put kids in the position of tattling on their parents, Wilson Ring of the Associated Press asked. Scott stood firm: “This is fair warning. If you’re planning on having gatherings outside your households, if you don’t want to have your kids in remote learning and quarantine for a 7 day period, maybe you should make other plans. I’m not sure it’s ‘tattling’ on anyone.”SUPPORT VERMONT DAILY FOR $9/MONTH
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20 replies »
- H. Jay EshelmanEditGood Lord. If parents need a reason to demand School Choice, this is it. What they’re not telling you is what they will require the parents to do. And if the State is allowed to ask this question, today, God knows what questions it will ask of our children in the future. I can see jack boots worn by Agency of Human Service agent’s on parent’s necks as abuse and neglect charges are thrown about like pebbles on the playground.Parents should keep their kids out of school for 7 days after the holiday in any case. If the question persists beyond that time period, you will know the intent of the interrogation has nothing to do with public safety. In that case, parents and their children should plead the 5th. On advice from counsel, be advised to assert your rights under the 5th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, and not answer the question.“No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation”Reply
- Ralph GerlachEditThis is communism at its worst. Teachers spying on behalf of the government asking kids what they did outside of school. Parents should instruct their children (whether they submitted to the governors rules or not) to refuse to answer any question a teacher asks like that. This is “BIG BROTHER” at its worst.Reply
- Art PetersonEditOur governor has seriously overstepped his authority here in my opinion. To demand that students of all ages answer questions about how they’ve spent their time during a federal holiday is unethical if not illegal. And to ask businesses to do the same to affect the wages/employment of good people is beyond obnoxious and heavy handed. The tone of this is that most of us cannot and will not make good decisions, that we are selfish and don’t take the virus seriously. Governor Scott needs to apologize to the people of Vermont for his insulting and arrogant pronouncements.Reply
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- revealvtEditMy mom, Barbara Bowen, grew up in Oslo Norway. She was in elementary school during the NAZI invasion of Norway. Hitler’s soldiers were stationed I; her school and listened in on the children’s conversations during recess in the school yard. She was plagued with these nightmarish memories til her death. The threat of covid is minimal compared to the flu in years past. This prison sentence which mr Scott has “suggested” people accept is unacceptable. When are y’all gonna wake up and fight back? Www. Make Americans free again. ComReply
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- Michael GouldEditI can’t believe we have stooped so low as to interrogate our children in an effort to deprive us of our God given rights. Totally unconstitutional! I wish we new this when we voted for these dictators.Repl