I was extremely disheartened and disappointed to read the comments made by Danielle Engbretson at the Monday, Sept. 27 school board meeting.
Engbretson referred to the difference in quarantining rules for vaccinated vs. unvaccinated individuals as, “This is no different than segregating Black and white people. This is exactly Jim Crow laws" ("School mask mandate returns," Sept. 30). She is grossly mistaken, the two are not at all “exactly” alike. In fact, they are not alike at all.
Jim Crow Laws were state and local laws that enforced racial segregation in the Southern United States from post Civil War to 1968. Jim Crow Laws are what made it legal to have separate restrooms and drinking fountains. Jim Crow Laws made it legal to have separate schools for Black students and white students.
Having different quarantining rules for an unvaccinated person is because an unvaccinated chose to not be vaccinated and is therefore at a higher risk of transmitting a potentially deadly virus. The unvaccinated are not denied the right to an education if they are identified as a close contact. Per the District 112 Safe Learning Plan, an unvaccinated person is allowed to attend school as a close contact as long as they are symptom-free (same as a vaccinated person) and wear a mask for 10 days.
The great news is that now that all students are wearing masks, no one is considered a close contact regardless of vaccination status.