“I think we have the support of the community and the support of the staff …” said Judy Ledford in the Sept. 14 article “Russell will phase in return starting Sept. 28.” Though I’m sure the administration has the support of many parents whose lives have been turned upside down by virtual learning, they don’t have the full support of teachers who will be putting their lives at risk.

As a doctor, I am disappointed in the decision to resume in-person classes. As the daughter of a teacher, I am devastated. My greatest frustrations stem from the blatant lack of support for teachers as they return to the classroom. After the school board purchased single-layer masks for the entire district, concerns raised about their efficacy were dismissed due to a lack of definitive health-department guidance.

Both the CDC and Kentucky Department of Education recommend two-layer masks, however RISD has ignored this particular recommendation. The administration’s willingness to put a teacher in a classroom of 25 students with ineffective masks is appalling and only one example of their subpar support.

If virtual learning has taught our community anything, I hope it’s the value of teachers: teachers with autoimmune conditions and high-risk family members, teachers who are cancer survivors and teachers who are young and healthy.

Jesse Stuart wrote, “I am firm in my belief that a teacher lives on and on through his students. Good teaching is forever and the teacher is immortal.”

If only good teaching rendered immortality against COVID-19, I would have no worries. Though I’m sure my mother’s legacy will live on, I would like to keep her around for as long as possible. I hope RISD feels the same way and takes every action to protect its teachers, many whose teaching lives on through me.

Haileigh Ross


Power company should

look at clean energy

This pandemic has disrupted our lives in numerous ways. To prevent myself from spiraling into a depressive state, I am focusing on the positive. One being morning coffee with my mom. Our topics range from spirituality to politics. Recently our conversations have revolved around Kentucky Power proposing a plan to raise electric bills for its customers and make it harder to use solar panels as alternative sources of energy.

“This isn’t the first time they have done this, but what can we do? They are the only option,” my mom says as she sips from her cup. My dad even researched investing in solar but didn’t think it was worth it after state legislators made it easier for utilities like Kentucky Power to devalue solar. I wonder, as an educator passionate about the future of my students, why Kentucky Power is not leading the way in clean energy — the only viable option for our energy source. Why are they not investing in clean energy?  Not only that, why are they disincentivizing their customers to do so?  

We need to invest in cleaner sources of energy and those in power need to lead the way. Climate catastrophes will be more economically devastating than any initial costs of switching. It’s unethical to raise energy costs, especially during a pandemic, and unforgiveable to impede customers from investing in cleaner sources of energy. I will be submitting a comment against the rate proposal, and you can too at kftc.org/kentuckypower2020.

Shawna McCown

Boyd County

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