In another case of “missing the forest for the trees,” many Washington, D.C. area taxpayers and parents are fuming over the news that local police boarded a school bus to interfere with a child who took off his magic mask.
A mother and dozens of concerned parents protested outside the Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE) in Washington, D.C. Wednesday night after police were called to a boy’s school bus because the boy, who has autism, kept taking off his mask.
The mom is Chioma Oruh, her son is named Jedi, and the forces of the Empire descended on Jedi two weeks ago when the boy, who is autistic, took off his mask while on the bus – as the school system said he could.
’And he took the mask off on the bus because he has a sensory processing condition, along with his autism,’ Oruh said. ‘The trust I put in OSSE was just violated.’
Of course, this not only calls into question the trustworthiness of the OSSE, but the common sense of bureaucrats in this tax-eating system who embrace as their default a policy that children must wear masks -- children who, according to the head of the vaunted Centers for Disease Control, have not shown that they spread the virus, and despite numerous studies that show children are at near zero chance of dying from or spreading COVID-19.
And that would be a virus that has a survival rate of 99.97 percent.
Strangely, the OSSE isn’t very communicative. No back and forth, but a simple written statement that implies the police were called not to harass the boy, but to handle a problem with the mom.
OSSE and a spokesperson provided a written statement, saying:
’The OSSE Division of Student Transportation called for MPD support to help de-escalate a situation in which a parent would not leave a school bus, which was impairing the ability of the bus to transport students to school. The call was made after the driver and her dispatcher had been in conversation with the parent and there was disagreement about safety protocols for her child on the bus, and the parent refused to leave the vehicle.’
But Ms. Oruh disputes that narrative.
Oruh said she never got on the bus. Her video starts when police arrived.
She also wondered why the bus driver did not have her son’s doctor’s note that states Jedi ‘should not be excluded or sent home if he refuses to wear the mask as long as he remains symptom-free and has no known COVID contacts.’
An OSSE spokesperson said Jedi’s school did not send over the doctor’s note prior to the bus arriving.
So the accusations and the counter-claims bounce like tennis balls across a net, while the larger game is missed.
As usual, this instance of alleged mistreatment of a child merely highlights part of a bigger and more fundamental problem.
The problem is not just whether the ad-hoc "rules" were abided. It's that this system is predicated on force, with tax-funded, armed police, bureaucrats, and courts ready to punish anyone who does not pay what the politicians demand.
Such a system throws moms like Ms. Oruh and kids like Jedi into a maelstrom that forces many, many others to pay for it, and not everyone will like seeing a child take off his mask. It seems sensible that a little boy with cognitive or emotional challenges should be given special consideration, but it also seems sensible to think that a parent might feel worried or dissatisfied when his or her child experiences hardships as a result of the important focus on a special needs child.
When I was in second grade, I was a high-performing student, and the school system thought it prudent to place a disruptive, hyper-active, potentially dangerous student beside me. They thought I could be “helpful” and a “calming influence” on the boy.
When, after weeks of distractions and problems, he flipped a desk beside me, they realized they’d made a mistake.
In a private, consumer-satisfaction-based system, such errors are rarer and, if they occur, customers can withhold their cash and go elsewhere.
But in Washington, D.C., as with every other “public” school system, the game is that no one should look at the forest, n one should question the system, and, instead, they should only see occasional trees.
Oruh hopes to receive an apology, but even with such a response, the anger and frustration people feel about their choices being limited, their kids being mistreated, their money being taken – those will continue until people realize that hiding behind all public schools is the threat of police action, and that action will not be pleasant.