In his announcement Tuesday that the opening of schools should be delayed and masks should be worn by all Mississippians when they are in public, Governor Tate Reeves stressed that implementation and execution of all of the state’s executive orders would fall on the shoulder of local officials.
“This is the reason we have elected school boards,” Reeves said. “No option before us is without risk. Local school leaders will determine what is best for their students and staff and individually tailor these orders to their schools.”
Your Clarksdale Press Register thinks it is too easy to kick the ball to the state and federal level and declare politics is fueling the changes “forced” on local parents, students and taxpayers.
We want to point out all politics is local and our style of government allows local bodies to do just about anything not specifically prohibited by a state or federal law.
And back to our point, the implementation of safe and sanitary measures to stop the spread of COVID-19 in our schools, in Clarksdale and across Coahoma County falls on the shoulders of elected officials.
We are pleased to see county officials distributing masks and hand sanitizer.
We were pleased when city officials cracked down with a curfew and strong request for citizens to wear masks.
And now our school districts, charged with the safety of the 3,981 students in all our schools, are being asked to step up.
It is easy to focus on the past and present, but we feel these times require bold thinking, strong leadership and an eye on the future.
Our city needs to focus on security and enforcement. The county needs to seek supplies and resources. Our schools need to be about the business of educating our children.
Months from now, years from now, we will look back and see if the leaders of our major institutions and government bodies had the vision to make the hard decisions and do what was best for our community.
Let’s get to work.