Serving Waitsburg, Dayton and the Touchet Valley

Fear is part of critical thinking

To the Editor, 

In response to Chuck Amerin’s comments at the school board meeting published in February 24, 2022 TheTimes, I would like to propose some thoughts. I think it is presumptuous to think that people/children were only wearing masks out of fear. They are wearing masks to prevent illness, in consideration for themselves and others, and because that was the mandate. In regard to suggesting that this was telling children “You shouldn’t be smart, you shouldn’t think critically, you just do what you’re told,” well some of that is part of being a child. Certainly, we want them to be smart and think critically.  And sometimes that means following rules. We expect children to walk in the hallways, no chewing gum, they have a dress code to abide by including no hats in the elementary. Are you saying children should challenge each and every guideline that comes along?  To suggest that children, between the ages of 5-18, should be thinking critically about how to respond to an illness that has touched every corner of the world, that we don’t have all the answer to, is beyond reason.  We want to raise children who are respectful, can think critically, are smart and will follow rules, and fear is not always part of that equation (but sometimes it should be).  Let’s not discount the fact that a certain degree of fear can be healthy. Fear is a good thing when considering whether or not to jump off of a bridge or play with matches. 

Respectfully submitted,

Susan Schlenz 

Dayton, Wash.


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