Tuesday, March 8, 2022



Here’s a news article that left me scratching my head:

Howard County parents react to mask mandate lifting in public schools, Alana Haynes, Baltimore Sun

I don’t know the actual number of parents in the Howard County Schools. Ms. Haynes has interviewed three of them. All are women. A quick look at FB suggests they are all white. Two out of the three are in agreement with lifting the mask mandate. One of those two has been actively involved in a lawsuit against the school system. One lives in Frederick County.

This is beginning to sound like one of those math problems I was never very good at.

I am puzzled as to why a good half of the article is given over to the parent who is involved in litigation against the board*, and yet that fact is never mentioned. Maybe, just maybe, this is information that readers need to be able to form an educated opinion?


Friends, I have no earthly idea how journalists select people to participate in articles like this. I know that one could never solicit the opinions of all parents, yet the opinions of three women (aren’t men parents, too?) doesn’t feel adequate. Although it would be incorrect to extrapolate from one piece in the newspaper, some folks are going to walk away from this article saying, “Two out of three Howard County parents approve of lifting the mask mandate in schools.”

I don’t think that’s true. It’s my gut feeling that the anti-masking in schools contingent is known most by its volume rather than by its quantity. No, I haven’t done a scientific poll of Howard County parents and I am not writing a news article. I base this opinion on two things: 1) the number of concerned parents posting online about their support of in-school masking, and 2) the number of people I am seeing in local businesses who are still masking voluntarily.

It’s almost as though someone from on high decreed that they needed “one of those articles where we ask parents how they feel” and that function was dutifully fulfilled but neither the process nor the content truly mattered. There’s just so much out of whack with this piece. 

Oh well. What’s the big deal? It’s just a newspaper article. Who cares?

I bet you know the answer to that one.

I do.

*On an unrelated matter.

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