Joseph Gale at podium

By Joe Gale, Montgomery County Commissioner

On behalf of thousands of local families, I would like to express my utter disappointment and total loss of confidence in the Montgomery County Board of Health. Their recent unilateral decision forcing the county’s public, private and parochial schools to shutdown in-person education for at least a two-week period beginning on Monday, November 23rd is outrageous, unacceptable and the definition of government overreach.

For months, I have stated openly and publicly that the cure for the coronavirus must not be worse than the disease itself. This is especially true concerning the mandatory closure of schools by a group of unelected bureaucrats who appear to be more interested in playing politics then looking out for the overall well-being of young people. According to the science, school-aged children have been, and continue to be, one of the populations least affected by COVID-19. Yet, America’s youth are suffering the most from draconian lockdown orders such as this.

The purpose and value of a child’s education goes far beyond the academic curriculum. School offers kids the integrated needs of supervised structure and a trusted environment in which to hone their social skills with peers. Everyday interactions with adults and fellow students are critical to the emotional and intellectual development of the next generation.

The Board of Health’s totalitarian ruling is unwise, reeks of partisanship and is frankly tone deaf to the will of the people. Concerned parents want the schools they fund with their public tax dollars and private tuition payments to remain open. As Montgomery County Commissioner, I have personally been contacted by countless constituents across both the county and the greater Philadelphia region who demand in-person education.

Courageous parents and students have made their voices heard loud and clear: in-person education is essential. I will continue to support these families who rightfully expect better and deserve better.