Peoria Unified School District Governing Board Hypocrisy Stings Parents Of Masked Students

After Ms. Cory Underhill voted to keep the students masked up, a picture of her surfaced attending a Sunrise Mtn. High School varsity football game on November 6, 2020.

Has there been a better example of “the rules are for thee but not for me” than the hypocrisy that we have seen through the COVID19 panicdemic by the educrats and politicians?

On Thursday evening, the Peoria Unified School District Governing Board, primarily on the recommendation of Superintendent Jason Reynolds, voted (3-2) to continue the child abuse imposed upon students under the guise of the mask mandate through the end of the school year.

It took days of lobbying, after Governor Ducey rescinded the school mask mandate, on the part of parents, before the Board President David Sandoval and Superintendent Reynolds finally conceded and added the item to the agenda – literally at the last allowable moment under Arizona’s Open Meeting Law.

Of the 17 people, who addressed the board under Agenda item Public Comment, 8 requested that the board make masks optional – not forbid them just give parents and students a choice. How ironic is it that before March 16, 2020 if a student walked into a school with a mask – best case he/she would have been ordered to remove it; worst case he/she would have received detention if not suspension? But I digress.

Of the nine speakers advocating that the district continue squashing parental rights and imposing abuse upon students – 7 are employees of the district, including one representing the teachers’ union. The other two identified themselves as parents. I’ll giving them the benefit of the doubt that they are not also employed within the education system – although the one father’s choice of terminology left me wondering.

Board president David Sandoval, despite some platitudes to the parents, was clearly on the side of the administration.

Board member (and former PUSD employee and current assistant principal Tolleson Union High School District) Bill Sorenson (Ed.D) stated he believes that masks have become about so much more than safety.  “I think it has become part of people’s identity. It symbolizes political strife, so it’s important to people.” (At approx. 2:08) Personally I did not hear one parent politicize the issue. They merely asked to be given a choice; to have their rights under the law be respected by their elected representatives.

Board member (and current 6th grade teacher in Dysart Unified School District) Cory Underhill read 5 minute (+/-) statement full of fact and figures from the Center for Disease Control and the AZ Health Services Department. However, not one word of concern, other than perhaps masks are uncomfortable, about the impact masks are having on children’s physical health as they breathe through bacteria infested masks all day.

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Not one word about their emotional well-being. Not one word of concern about the impact masks are having on the learning of early elementary students; young students who need to see faces to learn how to read and interpret the emotions of people they come in contact with – teachers and their fellow students.

Early readers who need to see the shapes that lips form in order to learn letter sounds. Oh right, that’s only if we actually taught students to read with explicit phonics – something the Peoria Unified School District abandoned in the mid-1990s. But, again, I digress.

The damage that has been done to our children by the politicians and educrats by what was advertised as a 2 week closing 13 MONTHS ago is arguably irreparable. But, hey, as long as the money keeps coming – life is good, at least for the adults.

It is rumored that the governing board of Ms. Underhill’s employer – Dysart USD – will be discussing the mask mandate at their next meeting. Will she be there fighting to keep kids masked up there as well? How about Dr. Sorenson will he be fighting in Tolleson should their board address the issue. Parents this is what happens when you elect those employed by the government schooling system in other districts or retired from your own. The foxes are ruling the henhouse.

Ironically shortly after the PUSD meeting, at which Ms. Underhill voted to keep the students masked up, a picture of her surfaced attending a Sunrise Mtn. High School varsity football game on November 6, 2020. After the governor’s executive order, during the actual flu season; the rules are for thee but not for me. Right Ms. Cory Underhill??

About Diane Douglas, Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction 2015-2018 25 Articles
Diane Douglas is an American politician and educator expert, who served as Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction from 2015-2019. She was elected on November 4, 2014. Douglas succeeded then-incumbent John Huppenthal, whom she defeated for the party's nomination in the Republican primary on August 26, 2014.