No More Restrictions

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Nicole McGrane

Feb 3, 2022, 10:35:09 AM2/3/22

February 3, 2022

Dear LAPS School Board:

I am writing today as a parent in regards to upcoming discussions around making Covid guidelines/protocols more restrictive.  When I heard this topic was up for discussion my heart dropped and then panic set in.  These last few years have been challenging in so many ways and I often think about how damaging they have been to my kids.  There are effects that I think have permanently changed them.

My daughter had all of the Senior milestones that she had looked forward to, stripped from her.  Yes, LAPS did a great job of making the best out of a bad situation but it was not the same.  She then went to university only to be locked in a dorm room for a year.  Just this year, she is finally getting her life back but the residual social anxiety created through isolation and fear has lingered.   

My son has also been affected but he is still a LAPS High School student and your decisions will continue to affect his development/mental well-being.  In 2020, the district shut down right before he was to get on a plane to Texas to compete in a Robotics competition.  He had spent over 80 hours building, programming, and driving the robot they created and the opportunity to see all that work pay off in competition was stripped from him and his team. In fact, the whole season was canceled.  I watched my once outgoing very social kid turn into one that was introverted and even anti-social.  The following Robotics season was mostly virtual. He was disengaged and barely participatory.  This year, he is finally involved again.  He is spending a great deal of time at the Robotics shop again and working with others to make this year’s robot.  We are buying plane tickets and reserving rooms for this year’s competitions.  If the district takes this opportunity away from these students again, I am not sure the effects it will have on them.  What I do know is it will be devastating and I don’t know if my son would feel trying again next year is worth his time and effort. He will have finished high school without ever being able to see his work and effort pay off in competition. He will have learned not to invest too much, not to look forward to big events, and to keep his dreams in check because they might be taken.  The last few years have impacted other things for him as well like soccer, he has dropped out of social clubs he once participated in, he does not hang out with friends outside of school as most of his interactions are now more comfortable for him online. The impact of increased restrictions can not be minimized.  We are changing the adults these kids will become. 

I am sure that the school board is under a lot of pressure and I do not envy the position you all are in.  When I think about all that we have been through these last few years, I long to move past restrictions and am tired of living in fear.  All I suggest is not taking away choice and opportunity for students and families.  Increasing restrictions takes choice away.  Let parents and families decide what they feel comfortable participating in.  We should be able to make our own decisions about what is an acceptable risk.  In my opinion, the consequences of increased regulations on the development and mental well-being of our kids are not acceptable. 

I am also not convinced that any of the Covid Protocols or restrictions really impact the spread of Covid.  Yes, it makes everyone feel like something is being done and that we have some control but in reality, I don’t think we can control it.  Trying is futile and comes at a cost.  I strongly recommend keeping regulations minimal and definitely do not condone making them more restrictive. 

I appreciate your time and consideration.  If you have any questions or would like to discuss further, let me know.

Most Sincerely,

Nicole McGrane, M.Ed

5th Grade Teacher - Barranca Elementary

Mom of LAHS Junior

"Challenges are what make life interesting and overcoming them is what makes life meaningful." - Joshua Marine
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