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Comment articles reflect the opinion of the writer(s), not the Rapp News. Comment below or by writing a letter to the editor: editor@rappnews.com.

The petition below was created by me to communicate to our public servants public opinion in favor of following the Virginia Department of Health Guidelines and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s recommended Covid-19 mitigation practices to hasten the end of the pandemic in our community.

The undersigned includes school families, community members, and stakeholders in Rappahannock County Public Schools. When I submitted this letter to the Rappahannock News on Sept.14 the petition had 226 signatures; as of Monday it had 300. To sign, visit Change.org/RappSchools.


To the Rappahannock County School Board:

We want RCPS students to be in school, safe, and focused on their classes and activities. The best way we can achieve this during the escalating Covid-19 Pandemic is by faithfully following public health recommendations and mandates, including universal masking, without exemptions. We have now lived through multiple school based outbreaks while very few were masked at school. We want to do all we can to curtail hardship, missed school, and serious illness or death from the pandemic in our community.

Therefore, we request that the current local Covid-19 model be discarded in favor of a simple statement that Rappahannock County Public Schools will adhere to the mask mandate along with the full complement of mitigation strategies without exceptions until such time as the mandate is lifted. Let public health officials, not politicians, guide our pandemic response and mitigation strategies.

We would like a school schedule modified to allow for outdoor, safe mask breaks for each student each day, and hope the schools will creatively employ other methods so interactions can be both safe and distanced and personal and friendly.  

Respectfully,

The undersigned.

Heather Farmer, Amissville

Mary-Sherman Willis, Amissville

Katrine McKelvey, Amissville

Suzanne Torosian, Amissville

Christina Loock, Amissville

Michele Frye, Amissville

Kathryn Treanor, Amissville

Laikyn Farmer, Amissville

Jennifer Grigsby, Amissville

Dina Hoenmanss, Amissville

Jane Eberhardt, Amissville

Ann Garrett, Amissville

Hope Dunn, Amissville

Ed McClellan, Amissville

Max Richtman, Amissville

Patty Hardee, amissville

Whyla Beman, Amissville

Matthew Farmer, Amissville

William Dant, Boston

Jeanne Wall, Boston

Danny Wilson, Boston

Barbara Heile, Boston

Stephen Schadler, Boston

Lara Andre, Boston

Cady Soukup, Boston

Emery Lazar, Castleton

Katie Hitt, Castleton

Casey Eitner, Castleton

Susan Jones, Castleton

Mimi Forbes, Castleton

Allison Mosher, Castleton

Claire Cassel, Castleton

Derek Capizzi, Castleton

Archer Gilliam, Castleton

Rebecca Oyster, Castleton

Teresa Boardwine, Castleton

Brian Donegan, Castleton

Elizabeth Williams, Castleton

Louise Goddard, Castleton

Petrina Huston, Castleton

Tiffany Matthews, Chester Gap

Trey Williams, Chester Gap

Claire Snelson, Chester Gap

Maggie Riley, Chester Gap

Karen Allen, Flint Hill

James (Jay) Allen, Flint Hill

Shauna Volmrich, Flint Hill

Anne Simon, Flint Hill

Lee Simon, Flint Hill

Sean Harrigan, Flint Hill

Joyce Wenger, Flint Hill

Susan Hornbostel, Flint Hill

Brian Volmrich, Flint Hill

A Grenade, Flint Hill

Martha Donegan, Flint Hill

Cathy Sewell, Flint Hill

B Plentovich, Flint Hill

Mike Wenger, Flint Hill

Priscilla Goodwin, Flint Hill

Justyna Burr, Flint Hill

Cary Ridder, Flint Hill

Bill Dietel, Flint Hill

Carolyn Roth, Flint Hill

Catherine Zimmerman, Huntly

Nol Putnam, Huntly

Ralph Bates, Huntly

Stuart Bailey, Huntly

Ellen Adams, Huntly

Gwen Bates, Huntly

Hal Hunter, Jackson District

Georgina Perrine, Piedmont

James Landrum, Rappahannock

Linda Croxson, Slate Mills

Patricia Brennan, Sperryville

Richard Lessard, Sperryville

Ann McCaffray, Sperryville

Madlyn Bynum, Sperryville

Eve Brooks, Sperryville

Jane Mullan, Sperryville

Cheri Woodard, Sperryville

William Bynum, Sperryville

Robert Burney, Sperryville

David Albee, Sperryville

Raymond Boc, Sperryville

Sara Adams, Sperryville

Michelle Almond, Sperryville

Gordon Wicks, Sperryville

Dabney Kirchman, Sperryville

Paul Kirchman, Sperryville

Richard Parsons, Sperryville

Sally Haynes, Sperryville

Davette Leonard, Sperryville

Kevin Kraditor, Sperryville

Eric Plaksin, Sperryville

Kate Woodward, Sperryville

Cliff Miller III, Sperryville

Susanne Louisell, Sperryville

Lesley Arnold, Sperryville

Tac Tacelosky, Sperryville

Sara Addeo, Sperryville

Jennifer Mello, Sperryville

Brooke Meade, sperryville

Anthony Lavato, Sperryville

Susan Huff, Sperryville

Mary Lindsay, Sperryville

Suzanne Weiss, Sperryville

Nancy Reeve, Sperryville

Patti Peterson, Sperryville

Barbara Adolfi, Sperryville

Mary O'Meara, Sperryville

Tim Nolan, Sperryville

Katie Burney, Sperryville

Nancy Hillard, Sperryville

Monica Worth, Sperryville

Christie Estep, Sperryville

Susan Dienelt, Sperryville

Patricia Underwood, Sperryville

Douglas Ward, Sperryville

Patricia Snyder, Sperryville

Amy Dodson, Sperryville

Adam Beroza, Sperryville

Annamarie Maher, Sperryville

Jami Davis, Sperryville

Kevin McCloskey, Sperryville

Robert Chapman, Sperryville

Kathy Eggers, Sperryville

Dot Lessard, Sperryville

Barney O'Meara, Sperryville

Brian Gratwicke, Sperryville

Kathleen Johnston, Stonewall-Hawthorne

Laurie Emrich, Stonewall-Hawthorne

Ellie Clark, Stonewall-Hawthorne

Missy McCool, Washington

Kristen Gregg, Washington

Patricia Curry, Washington

Carolyn McDowell, Washington

Kathryn Goldfarb, Washington

Daniel Lanigan, Washington

Francie Schroeder, Washington

Constance Bruce, Washington

John Burns, Washington

Daphne Hutchinson, Washington

Meg Flanagan, Washington

Forrest Marquisee, Washington

Dori Walker, Washington

Alan tidwell, Washington

Christina Oehser, Washington

Laura Lucas, Washington

Susan Dranitzke, Washington

Alan Dranitzke, Washington

Karen Henderson, Washington

Susan Gabbay, Washington

Virginia Pates, Washington

Sean Doyle, Washington

Shannon Ennis, Washington

Alexander Sharp, Washington

Denise Chandler, Washington

Heidi Lesinski, Washington

Leah Childress, Washington

Evan Childress, Washington

Veronika Benson, Washington

Emily O. Moore, Washington

Mary Ann Kuhn, Washington

Ruthie Windsor-Mann, Washington

Nancy Horton, Washington

Julie Spiezio, Washington

Sinead Arndt, Washington

Ann Baumgardner, Washington

Heather Wicke, Washington

Erin Platt, Woodville

Dianne Handy, Woodville

Barbara Black, Woodville

Shawn Dalle Lucca, Woodville

Lynnie Genho, Woodville

Stephanie Cash, Woodville

Anne Green, Woodville


The petition also included an option to add a comment. Below are some of the comments I received:

Kathryn Goldfarb, Washington: "I'm signing this petition because I believe we have to keep our students and teachers -- and community -- safe!"

Catherine Zimmerman, Huntly: “Science matters."

Tiffany Matthews, Chester Gap: "I'm signing because I want my daughters, their friends, classmates and staff to be safe, healthy, and in school!  Wakefield District"

Jeanne Wall, Boston: “It makes sense."

Sara Adams, Washington: "I own property in Rappahannock and I am spending most of my time there. Our schools should be safe and open."

Meg Flanagan, Washington: “I want the safest environment possible for our children"

Davette Leonard, Sperryville: "I want our children to safely get through this pandemic."

Christina Oehser, Washington: "People do not have the right to impose their opinions (rights as they call them) over the public good.  This virus is devastating our country and the prosperity of Rappahannock County.  The long term effects on a child's or adult's health if stricken with covid-19 can be devastating as well.   We need to be following the world-renowned experts at the CDC not the self-centered opinions of people who are not experts and care only about their own "freedom."  If you don’t wear a mask then don't come to school.  Our children and teachers deserve the freedom to pursue the happiness of a safe-as-we-can-make-it school experience.”

Heather Farmer, Amissville: "Masking helps keep our kids and staff safe IN school and not in mass quarantines. While there is a health order and quarantine requirements based on masking we are required to follow, mitigation measures along with masking ensures less kids and staff are missing multiple days of school."

Elizabeth Seeley, Culpeper: "I'm signing because I am concerned for the health and safety of our students and staff.  As a district employee, I know how quickly viruses spread in classrooms.  The Delta variant is highly contagious.  We must continue to use proven strategies, including universal masking, to slow transmission and protect our school community."

Barbara Adolfi, Sperryville: "I'm signing because it should be a priority that we follow science and provide the safest environment for our children."

Virginia Pates, Washington: "Our children deserve to learn in the most safe and stable environment we can provide. Masks are a simple, common-sense and now proven way to protect against the spread of covid."

Shannon Ennis, Washington: "I'm signing because my son and daughter have missed 11 of the 22 days of school. They need to be safe and in school learning."

Monica Worth, Sperryville: "I'm signing because I have served on Boards and believe it is a responsibility of Board members to receive, follow, and provide to those they serve the best information possible to guide decisions.  In this case, I believe respecting the value of education extends to the education, experience, and expertise of medical and public health officials.  We protect children in our community from uncertain vulnerabilities all the time.  It's what adults in a caring community do. I thank the Board for its service in doing so."

Louise Goddard, Washington: "My grandchildren are going to Rappahannock Elementary, and I firmly believe in masks even after the vaccination is approved.  I am vaccinated and still wear a mask in solidarity with them.  They feel safer with masks on. Children take their cues from the adults around them and they have been taught to trust science."


Listed below are signers of the petition who live outside the county:

Gina Gorgone, Arlington

Vinodh Gnanakkan, Ashburn

Virginia Perkins, Austin

Isabella Rosales, Bend, OR

Fuca Lin, Brooklyn, NY

Adam Kaluba, Burleson,TX

Virginia Hill, Charlottesville

Camden Littleton, Charlottesville

Thomas Jefferson, Chicago, IL

Jonathan Dillard, Cleveland, OH

Lisa Cailler, Concord

Beth Seeley, Culpeper

Pidge Aispuro, Diamond Bar,CA

Graham Masters, Dillwyn

Michael Malone, Dublin,OH

Sarah Scatchard, Fredericksburg

Mark M, Front Royal

Robin Day, Front Royal

Jeremy Levey, Front Royal

Sherrie Downs, Front Royal

Lillie Hollands, Front Royal

Ricky Campbell, Front Royal

Samantha Ruibal, Front Royal

Joyce Andrews, Front Royal

Mohammad Azim, Glen Allen

Anne Pallie, Glen Burnie

Tyler Trinidad, Gloucester

Henri Will, Goode

Eric Young, Irvine

Matthew Walker, Jeffersonton

Kelly Munson, Kaneohe,HI

Briana Frisby, Kewanee,IL

Gabriele Masill, Madison County

Linda Donovan, McLean

Bryza Valadez, Mesquite

Kate Whitten, Midlothian

Amy Herrmann, Moneta

David Quarterman, Monticello,UT

Erin Price, Newark,DE

Axolote Emily, Orange County,CA

Kaia Levi, Perris

Josh Hudson, Roanoke

Mandi Hess, Saginaw

Tyler Washington, San Diego

Brayden Kelly, South Hill

Lester Soon, Tacoma

Olympia Williams, Troy, AL

Taylor Edgar, Warrenton

Mikey Dossier, Webster, NY

The writer lives in Chester Gap



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