Letter to the Editor: Ensure the safety of our public spaces

To the Editor:

I am furious that people with respect in the community and doctor’s degrees would use their position to promote a Yes on 1 vote. They are confusing an issue of public safety with bodily autonomy.

The issue to be voted on is whether or not attendees to public schools should be required to be immunized. It does not say that parents no longer have a choice about what to put in their children’s bodies. It does not say that civil rights will be taken away. The choice is still there. What it does say is that if you make that choice to keep your child unvaccinated you do not get to benefit from the publicly funded schools in your community. These are schools where immunocompromised people might work, where herd immunity is expected, where pregnant women might work and learn, where babies who are too young to be vaccinated attend daycare (the high school). These are places that are open to all sorts of public events. All of those people are the ones who have the civil right to attend without fear of disfigured babies and life-threatening illness. The people who do not get the right to attend are the ones who have made the choice to put the rest of us at risk. This is no slippery slope. There are far more important issues to be worried about in this country right now and far more civil rights that we overlook all the time because we know they are for the good of the all: car insurance laws, seat buckling laws, house building codes, and et cetera. I can’t imagine anyone arguing that these rules that are meant to protect are a slippery slope to the end of democracy and freedom.

To vote No on 1 is not a vote to take away the freedoms of anyone but to ensure the safety of our public spaces. Those who choose risky behaviors that threaten public safety are the ones who have to find alternatives, such as homeschooling or private schools. If you want to use the public schools that my tax dollars pay for, you’re going to have to follow a few rules. We don’t allow guns in school. We keep the doors locked to protect our children. We need to protect our children from preventable diseases too.

Jennifer Crandall

Bar Harbor


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