Ever since county commissioner Val Arkoosh and her Board of Health shut down the schools without good reason (their own data shows COVID is not being spread at schools) I have been amazed at the group of people who have come together with the one agenda of opening schools. We live in a country that is as divided as I have ever seen it in my lifetime, and I have heard the same sentiment from people much older than my middle-age. It has been amazingly encouraging to see Democrats, Republicans, independents, Libertarians, and “non-politicals” coming together, putting all disagreements aside, and focusing on getting all kids the option of in person education.

I do not begrudge anyone success and I admire those who are ambitious. I do have a problem when people with authority have completely lost touch with the working class and the poor whom they are supposed to represent. Between Val and her Board of Health there are multiple million dollar homes (Zillow – Val’s home and Steven Katz home) and people making well over half a million dollars a year in hospital administration positions (ProPublica.org Michael Laign and Barbara Wadsworth). These people have no idea what it’s like for single parents, working parents, and especially parents of children with disabilities, but they can reach into our homes and throw our children into chaos at a whim. At this time, the youngest person in Montgomery County to die from COVID was in their mid-thirties, but we have had suicide and suicide attempts in our youth from the depression and anxiety brought on by these lockdowns.

Every Sunday morning we protest in front of Val Arkoosh’s house, and this Sunday was no different. Additionally there was the afternoon Open Our Schools Car Rally in Horsham. On a whim, some of the group went from protesting at Val’s over to Board of Health Chairman Mike Laign’s house to protest there. This spur of the moment protest led to approximately two dozen protestors speaking on behalf of the children. Several neighbors came out to see what the ruckus was about, and with one grumpy exception they really expressed support in our cause similarly to what has happened with our group and Val’s neighbors. The Horsham police showed up, verified we were well within our First Amendment rights, and totally peaceful. They even introduced the kids to their K9.

The two weeks had better not turn into more, but unlike last spring we now have a broad coalition of people with common sense who want children to have both the virtual and in person options for attending school.

Fighting for the kids!

Edward Sotherden

Maple Glen

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