A letter from a BOE candidate that we declined to publish
The following letter to the editor was submitted by CH-UH school board candidate Maureen Lynn after the October print issue had been printed and distributed. The Heights Observer declined to publish it online. Over the next few days, reaction to this decision began to distract from the important issues the community faces at the end of this busy, local election season. Therefore, while the reason for our initial decision hasn't changed, we are publishing the original letter and ensuing correspondence that explains our thinking behind the decision.
Clarification on Masks & the Library, by Maureen Lynn:
With all of the slander, malice and un-truths out there, I wanted to clarify my position. I am NOT anti-science, NOT anti-masks and NOT anti-vaccinations. The peaceful protest at the library was to stand in solidarity with a friend who is disabled and has a legitimate Medical Exemption. Simply put, she is disabled and cannot wear a mask. She home-schools her children and the Library is a necessary part of their education. Receiving books ‘curb-side’ is not a sufficient educational experience for these children. The Library refuses to recognize her exemption and she is still banned from going there (even to this date after more requests and pleas). I agreed to stay by her side while she pleaded to allow her & her children access to the Library. The staff would not budge and called the police. By the way, this is in violation to the American Disabilities Act. (The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) prohibits discrimination against people with disabilities in several areas, including employment, transportation, public accommodations, communications and access to state and local government’ programs and services.) I am completely against discriminating those with disabilities. I wish the Library were the same. Finally, a Library environment where a Mother & her children can enter as a pod and keep a safe distance from others is very different than a school where kids from all different households are very close to each other. I agree with the recommendation from the Cuyahoga County Board of Health that all students and teachers should wear masks regardless of their vaccination status. Again, I also agree that those with disabilities should never be faced with discrimination.
E-mail sent to Maureen Lynn, regarding her letter, Clarification on Masks & the Library:
I'm sorry, but I can't publish your latest piece on what did, or didn't, occur at the library with regard to the no-mask visit.
You were the first to write about it [Parents question library's mask requirement, Aug. 23, 2021]—that gave you every opportunity to set forth your take on what occurred, and why.
Then, some other writers responded. With rare exceptions, it's been Heights Observer policy to not publish the response to the response. It's not practical for a monthly publication to try to keep the thread of an event, and its interpretation, going over the course of several months.
Kim Sergio Inglis
E-mail reply from Maureen Lynn:
Could I please submit another Letter to the Editor today?
E-mail reply to Maureen Lynn:
We’re inundated with opinions and letters—including many from candidates who have already had their say. It’s our position that all candidates have had an ample opportunity to represent themselves in our pages.
We also feel that by standing for election, candidates place themselves in the public sphere—opening themselves to judgment from the same people they are seeking to serve. We are committed to publishing the full range of opinions that we receive from members of this community, and believe these should be allowed to stand alone.
Volunteer Project Co-Chair
and Advertising Sales/Market Development
Kim Sergio Inglis
Kim Sergio Inglis is editor-in-chief of the Heights Observer, and is a Cuyahoga County master gardener volunteer.