Incensed parents blast PA school board member who called them ‘offensive’ and ‘vile’ over mask concerns

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Incensed Pennsylvania parents blasted a school board member who attempted to shame them in an op-ed calling those voicing concerns over a mask mandate for their children “offensive” and “vile” while informing them, “I don’t work for you.”

They called out York Suburban School Board member Richard Robinson for essentially shaming “parent by parent” who spoke at the last meeting to hold school board members accountable. Robinson wrote a scathing opinion piece published last week that was meant to put parents in their place.

“Some members of my community appear to interpret this part of board meetings as the occasion to tell board members why they have the collective intelligence of a village idiot and how the school district ought to be addressing real problems. When the board does not fall in line with each and every demand, we are accused of ignoring the thoughtful, unbiased, sincere, and righteous ultimatums of our community,” Robinson wrote.

“With all due respect to the men and women who snarl, ‘I’m a taxpayer! You work for me!’ No, I don’t work for you. I was elected by people who voted to represent you. It is not the same thing. You may also be surprised to learn every member of a school board is a taxpayer, too. I come from a long line of taxpaying men and women,” he asserted.

“Finally, with all due respect to the charlatans who claim health and safety measures are responsible for destroying the mental health of children simply to justify their own social agenda, you are the most offensive and vile of all. There are members of this community who tried to draw attention to the warning signs of increasing mental distress among our children long before you ever thought of mental health as a potential cudgel. To listen to your repeated distortions of the facts is nauseating,” Robinson caustically remarked.

After being on the receiving end of Robinson’s “public lashing” over their protesting a new mask mandate for their children, parents stood up and slammed him for his vicious attack.

Nicole McCleary, a concerned parent who spoke at the meeting about her continued fears that COVID was creating a mental health crisis among young people, angrily spoke out against Robinson’s attack.

“This is a school board member giving a public lashing to concerned parents who have every right to express their views. We are parents who can’t get responses on anything from this school board. This is all we have left, and we deal with it,” she told the Daily Mail.

“He is an elected official who says he does not work for us. And that he knows what’s best for our children. We are parents exercising the right to give public comment about their kids. And this the bitter and callous response from their elected official. I have never heard of an elected official saying, I don’t work for you,” she remarked.

“If you don’t work for the people you represent, who do you work for? I can’t imagine a parent who would be happy with seeing this. That I don’t work for you, you don’t know what’s best for your kids,” she asserted.

(Video Credit: The Daily Mail)

McCleary unsuccessfully ran for the school board last year. She believes the diatribe by Robinson was meant to shut down growing parental opposition.

“Mr. Robinson wanted to let us know that not only does he not appreciate what we said, but he doesn’t care. I truly believe the whole purpose of that piece was to give us that public lashing,” she continued. “I’m sure there is the desire, that, hey if I embarrass these people maybe they are not going to show up anymore.”

“This piece is the clearest evidence I’ve seen in some time demonstrating that these school boards truly have no regard for taxpayer and parent input,” McCleary declared.

“In fact, they appear bothered by constituents exercising their rights to have their voices heard. He’s saying the quiet part out loud, including that schools know more than parents about what’s best for their kids,” she stated. “I’m the charlatan he references in his 6th bullet point. I care about the impact their decisions have had on my child’s mental health and I exercise my right to remind them of it. Virtually every one of his bullet points targets a parent who spoke that night.”

(Video Credit: The Daily Mail)

“I am disgusted by what Mr. Robinson wrote,” father-of-four Brian Sigley said. “I feel as a parent, a taxpayer and a community member and my children as members of the school, he has discounted our thoughts, our beliefs, our concerns. Basically calling people charlatans for talking about mental health issues, it’s hard to believe.”

“He was trying to shut us down,” the father contended. “Basically letting us know that no matter how many meetings you come to, no matter what you say, his opinion is already formed, he is not going to change his way of thinking.”

“Saying the parents aren’t always the right ones to make decisions for their children – correct, we don’t always make the right decisions,” Sigley noted. “But we do make what we feel are the best decisions for our family. And I feel like he has discounted that. I have not gotten a reply and I will be surprised if I do.”

“I think he put all the community members on notice, no matter which side of the masking debate. Making a comment about people saying they are a doctor and discounting that if they are not a virologist,” he went on. “Whether they are a doctor or not they are a community member and they are free to speak at a public meeting just as he is able to speak at the board meetings.”

Nick Spagnola, who has a child in first grade and another in second grade in the school district, told Fox News the letter “seems to be like a personal attack on me or my wife.” Both he and his wife have spoken at board meetings.

“If you’re an elected official, whether it’s a school board, whether it’s, you know, all the way up to the president, you do work for your constituents,” Jessica Carter, who has a middle schooler in the district, commented. “You work for the people that elected you. Whether I voted for you or not, you still technically work for me.”

“I’ve been going to school board meetings, sending emails to them over the last six, seven months, and none of them responded,” another parent named Aaron Hill stated. “And now he has the gall to go out and post an opinion piece in our York Dispatch.”

(Video Credit: Fox News)

During the board meeting, McCleary warned board members, “If you thought you were offended before, buckle up. I have stood here before three times pleading with you to stop harming our children because of the selfish and irrational fear of some adults.”

“It doesn’t seem to have stuck but I am pleased to see leading public health experts now agree. We have the US Surgeon General, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and others declaring a mental health crisis among our kids,” she continued. “We have very liberal commentators finally coming forward to speak about this.”

“You are missing the big picture right in front of you. Our kids and their overall health. We’re hurting kids to protect adults. Our kids have taken a back seat for two years. It’s time for selfish adults to put our kids first,” McCleary said, blasting the board.


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