Many parents and other community members reached out to me following my letter to the editor in last week’s Sentinel. I heard from Sierra County citizens who believe Governor Lujan-Grisham (505-476-2200) and PED Secretary Ryan Stewart (505-827-5800) are overreaching their authority and making decisions for families best left to them.

I also heard from Sierra County citizens who believe the opposite. I am pleased to see community members speak out and others who showed up to Monday’s school board meeting regardless of if they agree or disagree with me.

However, I was not clear in my previous letter to the editor when I stated, “This despite Covid deaths and infections at an all-time low and children at lower risk of becoming infected.” I was speaking of the rate of deaths and infections in New Mexico and in particular Sierra County. I obtained my information from COVID-19-Mortality-Rates-Public-Report_08.02.2021.pdf.

Deaths in Sierra County have steadily declined, and as of this writing, no children in Sierra County or the State of NM have died from Covid-19. This virus unleashed on the world is very serious and I encourage all people to take precautions they deem in the best interest of themselves and their families.

An article in the Santa Fe New Mexican updated January 3, 2021 New Mexico, plagued by suicide, could see spike in 2020 | Local News | reminds us that NM is first in the nation in child suicides and the pandemic is expected to increase those numbers. Our children’s mental health is being negatively affected by decisions being made in Santa Fe.

My statements belong to me, and I do not represent the other school board members.

s/Julie Stroup

Secretary, T-or-C Municipal School Board

T-or-C, NM

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