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As I See It

Let’s keep mask discourse civil



As a nation, we have a history of civil discourse. Lately, however, it seems the discourse hasn’t been that civil. That is becoming increasingly evident when it comes to enacting policies to combat the coronavirus. We are seeing more incidents of heated debate over the need, or the order to, wear masks. It is happening at school board meetings across Wisconsin, including in our area. In Burlington school board members were called names and targeted with expletives. Angry parents searched the building for board members during a recess to confront them. A mask debate in Oconomowoc caused three school board members to quit. In Kenosha a board member is attending meetings virtually after those who disagree with her took and posted online pictures of her daughter. At the recent Holmen school board, police removed a number of protesters from the meeting after they refused to wear masks. Now the Wisconsin Department of Justice is warning that as tempers flare at school board meetings, not all speech is protected, and could become criminal if people make threats or are harassing others. Clearly many people feel passionate about this issue, but we need to make sure our discourse remains civil, and remember our children are watching us.

Scott Robert Shaw serves as WIZM Program Director and News Director, and delivers the morning news on WKTY, Z-93 and 95.7 The Rock. Scott has been at Mid-West Family La Crosse since 1989, and authors Wisconsin's only daily radio editorial, "As I See It" heard on WIZM each weekday morning and afternoon.

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