Jubal Yennie, the Superintendent of Albany County School District #1, recently wrote a letter to the community, which was read at the regular Board of Trustees meeting on October 13. 

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The letter reads as follows:

"The COVID-19 pandemic has damaged our compassion for one another. It, like so many things in recent years, has divided us. We most certainly have one thing in common, however, we want this pandemic to be over with as little loss of life as possible. 

Until COVID-19 is behind us, many of us must continue making difficult decisions every day, with real-world consequences. Here in Laramie, we know that roughly half of our community is unhappy about the current school district mask mandate, and the other half is comforted. Likewise, for our fellow Wyoming school districts without mask mandates, half of their community is unhappy and the other half is comforted.  

COVID-19 has created a no-win situation. 

Our school board, principals, teachers, and administrators are human beings. We are your friends, neighbors, and family members --  and not one of us wants to cause stress, strife, or worse yet, harm.  

While disagreements about our educational system can be constructive, we’ve found that this pandemic has brought the very worst out in us. As Senator Alan Simpson so wisely said, “Hate corrodes the container it is carried in.” It’s a great reminder that when hurting others, we are also hurting ourselves.  

We need your help in putting a stop to the vitriol, serious threats, insults and personal attacks. We are also asking for your understanding and perhaps a bit of compassion. Each of us takes our responsibilities as educators very seriously, and whether you choose to believe it or not, we are all doing the very best we can during this no-win COVID-19 era."

This letter was released after the Laramie High School had been on lockdown on October 7 due to a student disciplinary disturbance in the main office. The high school had also received threats the following day, which the Laramie Police Department followed up on and determined that they were not credible after monitoring the school at that time.

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