The Alamogordo Public School Board must act to protect children

Since all but one member of the Alamogordo Public School Board has ignored the many pleas from folks in our city and constantly eroded transparency through a failure to act on critical issues affecting the children in the community, this is the last stand I can think of to make them listen.

The first day of school for students starts in just a few weeks and the Board has failed to consider critical resolutions protecting female students’ safety in sports and failed to hold a meeting on the 2021-2022 learning platform — which integrates principles of the racist Critical Race Theory via the “Kickboard” plan implemented in 2019. 

Just a few weeks ago, the School Board cowered in fear of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), a radical out-of-state dark money group that threatened to sue the school district if it considered a proposal by APS Board President Angela Cadwallader to ban biological males from female sports.

The ACLU demanded in its threatening letter that the School Board pull the resolution to protect girls’ sports, publicly state that the resolution was “ill-advised,” publish a document “clarifying that the district welcomes, supports, and affirms trans students of all kinds,” and “engage in trans-specific sensitivity training as a Board.” 

Once the ACLU sent their demand letter, the proposal mysteriously disappeared from the next meeting’s agenda, being replaced with banal contract approvals. In the midst of a threat, the School Board kowtowed to a radical “social justice” group’s threats above the safety of Alamogordo students and the citizens who elected the board members. 

This is just the latest failure of the School Board, following their silence on students being forcibly masked in schools by Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham — even having to wear face coverings in 100+ degree heat while competing in sports. 

They have refused to call a meeting, as many communities have, to buck these draconian lockdown mandates, which are forcing teachers, students, and school personnel to face copious amounts of testing if they won’t be forcibly inoculated. Lujan Grisham also instituted segregating children based on vaccination status and quarantining/punishing students who do not comply. 

APS has been limp and actionless, such as previously when Board President Cadwaller was the only member to vote against the further closure of APS. 

Now, the board is refusing to act upon children being taught to hate each other based on race, with the school’s Critical Race Theory curriculum, which according to the Kickboard site, includes a “districtwide culture audit,” staff training on “trauma-informed mindsets,” and a focus on “social and emotional wellbeing.”

But despite the countless pressing issues still afflicting APS students and parents, the School Board has failed time and again to prioritize these issues while parents and students run out of time as the new school year approaches.

The APS Board members know what they have to do: reschedule a board meeting to consider pivotal proposals banning boys from girls’ sports and banning racist Critical Race Theory from the curriculum — issues parents deeply care about.

If the School Board instead bows down to the ACLU and radical outside groups that do not know or care about our community, then we have our final answer as to who owns four out of five of our school board members. Hint: it’s not we, the citizens, who have to deal with the catastrophic results of their inaction — it’s out-of-state extremist groups pushing the transgender and Critical Race Theory agendas. 

John Block is a native New Mexican and Alamogordo resident who serves as the editor of PinonPost.com.

Floyd school district stands up to MLG’s draconian school mask, vaccine mandates

On Monday, July 26, 2021, the Floyd School Board of Roosevelt County held a special meeting to buck scandal-ridden Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham’s edicts regarding school masking and vaccinations. It passed a resolution stating that masks are optional, social distancing is optional, transportation will return to normal, no temperature checks, surveillance testing is optional for staff, if a staff member wants to be tested, athletic Teams follow the rules of the teams they visit, allow parents to pick up and drop off students to the classroom, and resume all classroom activities/parent involvement, among other measures.

In a letter obtained by the Roosevelt Review dated July 27, 2021, by former Public Education Department secretary Ryan Stewart, he demanded, “By noon on Tuesday, August 3, 2021, the board must take official action at a public meeting to rescind the actions listed above and/or to adopt a course of action that conforms to the published health and safety requirements.” Stewart resigned on July 29, 2021. 

The School Board’s action came after the Governor mandated objectively unreasonable mandates in schools, including requiring all elementary school children to wear masks all day, requiring students to show proof of vaccinations, or else they must be masked, forced vaccinations on teachers and school personnel or else they are subjected to extreme testing, segregating children based on vaccination status, as well as sending students home if they refuse to comply.

In Stewart’s letter, he added, “A failure by the board to provide written confirmation of a vote rescinding the offending course of action and/or adopting a course of action that conforms to the published health and safety requirements by noon on Tuesday, August 3, 2021, or any further violations of COVID-Safe Practices, could result in adverse licensure actions against licensed individuals, suspension of school board governance, and other applicable enforcement actions. Any punitive actions by the board against the Superintendent, other administrators, or school or district staff for following COVID-Safe Practices may result in immediate suspension of school board governance. Furthermore, the District will be subject to ongoing monitoring and site visits to ensure compliance with health protocols.” 

But Leon Nall of the Floyd School Board wrote, “This information we received was unacceptable to proceed to provide the best possible education for the students of Floyd Municipal Schools.  The Floyd School Board reviewed many documents and audio messages by creditable presenters and authors explaining possible Health risk and the ineffectiveness of preventing the spread of Covid-19 with mask use.  Additional information was reviewed stating the health risk potential of getting the Covid Vaccine.  There are many possible undesirable side effects.”

He added, “The motion was made and passed to proceed without required mask usage.  Mask will be optional and choosing to use will be the decision of the individual in the school district.” 

This is just the latest instance of New Mexicans fighting back against Gov. Lujan Grisham’s extreme mandates. New Mexicans will be holding a statewide school mask protest on Saturday, July 31, 2021. More information can be found here.

‘This isn’t a debate’: MLG forces state employees to get vaccinated ‘or else’

On Thursday, Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham announced she will force all employees of the State of New Mexico to be vaccinated with the non-FDA approved COVID-19 inoculation, otherwise, they will be subjected to an unreasonable amount of testing, effective beginning August 2, 2021.

“Under the order, state employees who are not fully vaccinated against COVID-19 shall be required to demonstrate a negative COVID-19 test at least once every two weeks,” a press release from the Governor’s office read. 

“State employees who are not fully vaccinated, under the order, must wear a facemask when indoors during the course and scope of their employment — with minor exceptions for eating and drinking. (Pursuant to updated guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, it is recommended vaccinated individuals resume wearing facemasks indoors as well.)” 

The Governor also threatens termination of State employees if they refuse to be coerced into taking the vaccine or if they do not subject themselves to the extreme testing criteria. The press release reads, “Employees who do not comply may be subject to disciplinary action, including termination, in accordance with applicable law.” 

Lujan Grisham proclaimed, “Right now, it’s very simple: Get a vaccine, or else you will be tested.” She added, “There will be no quarter for this virus within state government offices. I will not tolerate any unnecessary risk within the workforce under my authority. And I strongly encourage other New Mexico government agencies and private sector employers to consider doing the same.”

“I have absolutely zero appetite for another unnecessary surge of infections, hospitalizations and death,” the Governor added. “This isn’t a debate. The vaccines are safe, and they work. Misinformation to the contrary will lead to illness and death — not to mention full hospitals and economic disruption.”

“If you are eligible to be vaccinated and choosing not to, you are giving the virus an opportunity to mutate and spread. Please do not jeopardize anyone’s life, anyone’s livelihood or our state’s economic recovery. Get vaccinated,” she demanded.

Following her order, the Republican Party of New Mexico blasted the order, with Chairman Steve Pearce writing, “This is the latest example of Gov. Lujan Grisham overstepping her authority and having government make personal choices for its citizens. Now she is threatening to fire any state employee if they don’t comply with her executive order.”

“Again, there is no rhyme or reason to her random decisions. The Governor has never had a logical or sensible plan to deal with the pandemic from day one, and this latest knee jerk reaction to deal with COVID is a slap in the face to hardworking state employees. No science, just politics. The Governor should be focused on what’s happening at our border as more and more people with COVID are crossing into New Mexico. They are coming here with no proper health checks, vaccinations or masks, posing great threats to the health and well-being of New Mexicans,” he added.

The sudden move by Lujan Grisham comes after months of fear-mongering over the supposed “Delta variant,” which she claims is more dangerous than COVID-19.

MLG’s Green New Deal resulting in likely brownouts by next summer

As warned by many pro-energy groups, including the most vocal Power the Future, which as foretold of brownouts due to Gov. Lujan Grisham’s Green New Deal, that stark reality is likely coming true, according to the Public Service Company of New Mexico (PNM). 

In August of 2020, a little over one year after New Mexico passed its “Energy Transition Act,” also known as the “Green New Deal,” Larry Behrens, western states director for Power the Future warned, “New Mexico’s families must continue to face the real consequences of pushing an agenda that doesn’t provide power when we need it most.” 

Behrens reacted to the news, writing, “Warnings of brownouts are just the latest in a list of failures brought on by this forced transition. Electric rates are also on the rise and New Mexicans are set to lose their jobs simply because this law was rushed through so quickly that supporters didn’t want to acknowledge the predictable consequences. New Mexico’s leaders need to listen to the warnings, put aside their special interests and plan to deliver reliable electricity before it’s too late.”

In northeast New Mexico, the Energy Transition Act has forced the closure of the San Juan Generating Station by PNM, leaving countless New Mexicans without jobs and only around 80 employees able to retire. “For the rest of the employees, though, they’re going to have to go find some other form of employment,” said plant manager Omni Warner. 

Even far-left enviro-Marxist groups have begged the Legislature to make changes to the Energy Transition Act before it completely wrecks the state.

But the pleas from the left and the right have fallen on deaf ears, and now the corrosive piece of legislation may force PNM to rely on a “brownout” next summer due to the “energy lost with the anticipated closure of the coal-fueled” San Juan Generating Station, reports the Santa Fe New Mexican.

Brownouts entail a drop in voltage in the electrical power supply system, which could mean dimmer lights and lower power levels for New Mexicans. According to PNM spokesman Ray Sandoval says that PNM “generally has a 2,000-megawatt system with about 500 megawatts provided by the San Juan Generating Station.” 

With the closure of the San Juan Generating Station, it has purged countless jobs, with only around 80 employees able to retire. “For the rest of the employees, though, they’re going to have to go find some other form of employment,” said plant manager Omni Warner. 

Now, as well as a loss of jobs, the closure of the San Juan Generating Station means a loss of 500 megawatts of energy to New Mexico. When asked what options PNM has, executive Tom Fallgren said, “We are looking at any and all options. … And we continue to beat the bushes, so to say, for other opportunities as well.”

As for the other effects of New Mexico’s Green New Deal, other than brownouts and lost jobs, electric utilities, including XCEL Energy, are asking to raise rates on their customers because of the Energy Transition Act, passing off large costs back to the consumers.

Left-wing environmentalists will claim that the massive uptick in unemployment rates is all related to the pandemic and not Lujan Grisham’s Green New Deal. However, New Mexico’s neighboring state of Texas has gained energy jobs every single month since last September, unlike New Mexico. 

New Mexico is bleeding cash by the day as the Governor’s assault on the energy industry worsens. New Mexicans are being laid off with no fallback other than the state’s flailing unemployment system run by Lujan Grisham’s cabinet appointees. 

Now, New Mexicans will be seeing brownouts in their future, and this is just the tip of the iceberg regarding New Mexico’s energy future.

READ NEXT: [FULL LIST: These sitting ‘GOP’ legislators voted for MLG’s ‘mini’ Green New Deal]

Reporter says Stapleton probe ‘perhaps the largest political corruption investigation I’ve reported on’

On Wednesday, in wake of the news that number two Democrat in the New Mexico House, majority leader Rep. Sheryl Williams Stapleton (D-Bernalillo), was under investigation for racketeering, money laundering, and illegal kickbacks, New Mexicans responded to the news.

One of the most shocked, and ironically so was Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham, who claimed to be “deeply troubled” by the reports, and that “public officials must always hold themselves to the highest possible standard of behavior.” 

Lujan Grisham is currently under investigation by the State Ethics Commission for misuse of campaign funds. She previously paid an ex-staffer $62,500 for allegedly pouring water on his crotch and then grabbing his penis.

KOB 4 reporter Chris Ramirez wrote on Twitter, “This is perhaps the largest political corruption investigation I’ve reported on.”

Dan McKay of the Albuquerque Journal wrote on Twitter that Speaker Brian Egolf (D-Bernalillo) and “other Democratic leaders” say they are “shocked and dismayed by the deeply troubling allegations against” Stapleton.

The Republican Party of New Mexico wrote that “If the allegations prove true, they are a disturbing violation of the sacred public trust.” 

Far-left state Sen. Jacob Candelaria weighed in on Twitter, writing, “Will she remain majority leader? And for how long??” 

According to Leader Stapleton’s latest financial disclosure, the only income she reported was from the Albuquerque Public Schools and land in Sandoval County.

PHOTO: Screenshot via KOB 4.

Alleged groper MLG amid Dem leader probe: Gov’t must be held to highest ‘standard of behavior’

On Wednesday, following news that Democrat majority leader Rep. Sheryl Williams Stapleton (D-Bernalillo) had been served search warrants by the Attorney General’s Office, scandal-ridden Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham issued the following statement:

“I am deeply, deeply troubled by the reports this morning about a law enforcement investigation into Rep. Stapleton. People are innocent until proven otherwise, and I know investigators will follow the facts wherever they lead. I await more information like all New Mexicans. But I will say that public confidence in government is seriously damaged by even the appearance of impropriety, or illegal activity, which is why public officials must always hold themselves to the highest possible standard of behavior. New Mexicans expect and deserve elected officials who, regardless of party, will put the people before themselves. Anything less violates a sacred public trust and must be dealt with accordingly.”

The sentiments from the Governor ring hollow for many New Mexicans, as she previously spent millions in taxpayer dollars without the Legislature’s approval, had hundreds of millions of dollars go missing from the Department of Workforce Solutions, had paid off $62,500 to an ex-staffer who alleged she poured water on his genitals and grabbed his penis, and paid off her daughter $6,000+ for cosmetics with campaign funds. 

Now, her sudden urge to have public servants “always hold themselves to the highest possible standard of behavior” comes off as massive hypocrisy.

The Albuquerque Public Schools superintendent Scott Elder notified Attorney General Hector Balderas of Leader Stapleton’s relationship with a company, Robotics Management Learning Systems LLC, that has done more than $5 million in business with APS over the last 13 years.

Police execute search warrants at home of Democrat House Leader Sheryl Stapleton

On Wednesday, it was reported by Albuquerque Journal and confirmed by KOB 4 that law enforcement was executing search warrants at the home of Democrat House majority leader Rep. Sheryl Williams Stapleton (D-Bernalillo). 

“Investigators have been investigating Williams Stapleton’s links to a Washington D.C. based company, Robotics Management Learning Systems LLC, that has done more than $5 million in business with APS over the last 13 years,” reported the Journal.

“The investigation began at the request of APS Superintendent Scott Elder after the district’s procurement department began asking questions about the company and its relationship with Williams Stapleton in 2018.” 

The letter, signed April 19, 2021, reads as follows:

Ms. Williams Stapleton has for a period of years made requests for procurement from a software known as “Cyber Quest” which is purportedly developed by a Washington D.C. company called Robotics Management Learning System, LLC (“Robotics”). To the best of the APS Finance Department’s knowledge, these procurements occurred for several years without a proper request for proposal (“RFP”) and response. When the Procurement Officer caught this irregularity and issued an RFP, Robotics indicated in its response that no conflict of interest existed. However, the Finance Department noticed that despite being D.C.-based, Robotics requested checks be remitted to an Albuquerque, New Mexico P.O. Box. This P.O. Box had at one time belonged to a person named David Hendrickson, which is the same name as one of Ms. Williams Stapleton’s children. On his Facebook page, David Hendrickson lists his job is listed as a “coordinator” for Robotics. Also, the owner of Robotics, Joseph Jackson, appears to be both a personal friend and the president of the same non-profit Ms. Williams Stapleton works for as a director. 

Additionally, Ms. Williams Stapleton has also requested the procurement of the services from a company known as TriTech Enterprises, LLC (“TriTech”), which is owned by a man named Randolph Williams. TriTech purports to conduct teacher trainings on use of the software known as “Cyber Quest” and appears to have close ties to Robotics. Both Robotics and TriTech charge the exact same amount for the exact same trainings, but it is unclear why both organizations are paid for the same trainings. The frequency of the trainings is questionable and the quality of the software is suspect. 

By separate letter, APS will present to you additional information about Ms. Williams Stapleton and Robotics. Instead of waiting to provide you all the available information, I thought it best to notify you just as soon as I became aware of this situation. As we become aware of additional information, we will provide it to you by separate letter.

According to the report, “Search warrants were also served on businesses and charities connected to Wiliams Stapleton and her family.” 

KOB reports that Stapleton is under investigation for racketeering, money laundering, and receiving illegal kickbacks, according to the warrant.

The report continues:

According to the warrant, every invoice issued by Robotics to APS was for an even dollar amount, no cents, and in unchanging amounts over the years. Most were reportedly for $40,000. In all, APS paid Robotics more than $5.3 million. 

Rep. Williams Stapleton is also directly involved with four companies that received payments from Robotics: The Charlie Morrisey Center for Creative Assitance Inc., the Ujima Foundation, S. Williams and Associates, and local restaurant A Taste of The Caribbean.

Evidence suggests that she was eventual recipient of 60% of the APS money — $954,386. Investigators are looking into additional payments that were redirected into her personal bank accounts.

 Stapleton has served in the House since 1995 and has been known as a loud partisan voice pushing for the wills of teacher’s unions. She is the longest-serving Democratic member in the New Mexico House of Representatives. As majority leader, Stapleton is the second-highest-ranking Democrat in the House after Speaker Brian Egolf (D-Santa Fe).

On her campaign website, Stapleton writes, “Some people are concerned about being important, we can all be important, but we cannot all serve the public.  I have chosen to be a public servant rather than be important.” New Mexicans will soon see if her words ring true or are just hollow rhetoric.

This is a developing story.

MLG wants citizens, even the fully vaccinated, to wear masks indoors in fear of ‘Delta variant’

On Tuesday, scandal-ridden Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham, who was accused and later settled for sexual assault, announced that she had brought back her request for New Mexicans to wear masks indoors, even if they are fully inoculated. 

Her announcement came after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) once again made a backflip in its guidelines, which previously said fully jabbed individuals could go without a mask indoors. Now, due to the “Delta variant” of the virus, it is recommending that “everyone in areas of substantial/high transmission should wear a mask, even if vaccinated.” 

Lujan Grisham, who has been fear-mongering over the Delta variant for some time now, previously said, “It’s a deadly virus, it’s not going to go away. This variant is serious.” 

Either she had some insider information on the CDC’s next move, or her wish came true because now she is reinstituting her pleas for citizens to follow the draconian mask guidelines.

On Twitter, she wrote, “Per the latest @CDCgov guidance, we recommend that all New Mexicans wear a mask indoors out of an abundance of caution as we work to suppress the Delta variant. Unvaccinated New Mexicans are urged to schedule their vaccination appointments immediately at http://VaccineNM.org.”

Joe Biden said, “The more we learn about this virus and the delta variation, the more we have to be worried and concerned. And there’s only one thing we know for sure — if those other 100 million people got vaccinated, we’d be in a very different world.”

Lujan Grisham has been pushing for New Mexicans to get the inoculation, even using $10+ million in taxpayers’ money to bribe New Mexicans via a lottery. She used the percentage of jabbed individuals as a benchmark to “reopen” the state, and coincidentally, all 33 counties turned “turquoise” (the best benchmark) right before her re-election launch.

As the school year comes around the corner, Lujan Grisham has instituted new guidelines forcing masks on kindergarteners, segregating children based on vaccination status, forcing students to carry around proof of vaccination status, and mandating unreasonable testing requirements on teachers and staff.

[READ NEXT: MLG’s new NMPED guidelines invoke punitive measures against the unvaccinated]

Legislators work to pay themselves salaries, ignoring concept of a ‘citizen legislature’

In January, we ran an editorial titled “Ungrateful NM legislators complain about ‘not getting paid’ despite per diem, pensions” focusing on New Mexico’s inept political “leaders” whining about not being paid enough despite getting pensions and per diem for their time on the job.

But now, these same ungrateful legislators are renewing their calls to be paid more with the interim Courts, Corrections, and Justice Committee considering a joint resolution to pay themselves, a proposal that Sen. Daniel Ivey-Soto (D-Bernalillo) aims to sponsor in the 2022 30-day legislative session.

Ivey-Soto’s bill would amend the New Mexico Constitution via sending the voters a ballot measure to pay legislators via the State Ethics Commission, which would oversee salarying the legislative branch.

The Albuquerque senator claims, the Legislature is currently “comprised of the three R’s: the rich, the retired and the resourceful.” However, the Legislature was made to be a “citizen legislature,” meaning it was comprised of average citizens who work actual jobs while not in Santa Fe for the legislative session, letting them be closer to the people they serve. 

“We would have more time to devote to constituent services, oversight of state government, crafting legislation throughout the interim, and these crazy 60 and 30-day sessions wouldn’t be so crazy,” claimed Rep. Moe Maestas (D-Bernalillo), who would be happy to have a full-time legislature. And with Democrats in power in both the House, Senate, and Governor’s Mansion, it would be a field day for the far-left if they could ram through their extremist agenda year-round.

But far-left Sen. Antoinette Sedillo Lopez (D-Bernalillo) claims Ivey-Soto’s bill doesn’t go far enough. She claimed as well as the Legislature being salaried, she wants its structure to be changed “to make it have the ability to do its job.” She claims in its current form, it is an “extremely weak branch of the government,” which is likely what the framers’ of the New Mexico Constitution intended.

Previously, other members have whined about the lack of pay legislators get, despite them knowingly running for the job with full knowledge it didn’t have a salary. 

Sen. Bill Soules (D-Doña Ana), who has been in the New Mexico Senate since 2013, tweeted a picture of a dollar bill, writing, “#nmleg. ‘Another day another ………’. Oh wait.  That’s right.  The New Mexico Legislature is unpaid.  The only unpaid legislature in the country.” 

From our January editorial:

“Moderate” Rep. Alonzo Baldonado (R-Valencia), while defending Rep. Kelly Fajardo’s (R-Valencia) vote in favor of Democrat Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham’s “mini” Green New Deal, wrote, “For all of you out there that think making votes and not getting paid to do it is easy….I say you go do it.” In 2022, many conservative Republicans will do it, and hopefully, strong patriots who do not cower will run against Reps. Fajardo and Baldonado to bring true representation to the Legislature—actual servants of the people who will not complain about the job they knew full-well they were getting into. 

Rep. Angelica Rubio (D-Doña Ana) claimed in 2019 while sponsoring a bill to pay legislators a salary, that the current system has people “being left out of the system.” However, she somehow got elected to the Legislature. 

But despite all the misinformation from ungrateful supposed “public servants,” legislators in New Mexico do get reimbursed through a daily per diem for their work, which is $184 a day and 58 cents a mile. They also get a hefty pension for their service. After ten years, it amounts to $10,824.00. 

The point of New Mexico’s legislature is for it to work for New Mexicans—not the other way around. Just remember, senators and representatives in the U.S. Congress get paid hundreds of thousands of dollars per year for not doing much at all. Having regular citizens who work jobs in the time they are not in the New Mexico Legislature (usually 10-11 months each year) serving as our representatives, brings them closer to the people they are supposed to represent and makes them more accountable to their constituents.

Now, time will tell if Republicans, other than extreme “moderates” like Alonzo Baldonado, join the herd of radical Democrats to try and pay themselves salaries, especially as New Mexico recovers from Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham’s extreme lockdown that left 40% of small businesses closed and countless jobs lost.

MLG’s new NMPED guidelines invoke punitive measures against the unvaccinated

On Monday, the New Mexico Public Education Department (NMPED) unveiled new guidelines for schools, which are set to start again in the next few weeks. According to the NMPED, masking will still be required in most schools.

“Teachers and staff in junior and high school settings will not be required to wear masks if they have been fully vaccinated against Covid-19. Proof of vaccination will be required,” KVIA reports.

KVIA also adds that “Masks will still be required for all individuals, regardless of vaccination status, in elementary schools. Masks will also be required for anyone that is not vaccinated or refuses to show proof of vaccination in those secondary school settings,” according to the updated NMPED rules.

Students who refuse to wear masks will be sent home. “While waiting for pickup, such students will be supervised and quarantined from other students,” the report notes.

“Our priority is to keep children in school, and it’s great news that the CDC guidance shows that secondary students and staff who are vaccinated can safely attend school without masks,” said PED Secretary Ryan Stewart.

The teacher’s unions responded to the punitive school mask mandates with glee. American Federation of Teachers New Mexico president Whitney Holland said, “Today’s release of updated New Mexico Public Education Department guidelines for COVID-19 safety protocols correctly keeps a focus on proven strategies for combating the spread of coronavirus in our places of learning.”

“We appreciate Secretary Dr. Ryan Stewart and the NM PED team including educational stakeholders in this process and the development of today’s updated guidelines. These protocols correctly acknowledge this virus is still present in our communities and will continue to be present until all able New Mexicans have access to an approved vaccine. These guidelines are especially important for our youngest learners as they wait for an age-appropriate vaccine to be widely available,” Holland concluded

Despite the unions being happy with the new guidelines, the NMPED is treating unvaccinated individuals with punitive measures, such as, “Unvaccinated students should sit on only one side of a table and maintain the prescribed social distance.” 

Also, “[s]chools must maintain a voluntary student surveillance testing program with a new weekly goal of testing 25% of unvaccinated students participating in sports and other extra-curricular activities. The previous goal was 1% of the overall student population and 10% of students participating in sports and other extracurricular activities.” 

The testing levels have also increased for teachers, aides, custodians, and other administrators, with a mandatory 25% weekly testing requirement for unvaccinated staff members. Previously, only schools in red counties had to test at such a high level.

New Mexico is one of only seven states (CA, CT, DE, HI, NM, NY, WA) with mask requirements for students. All of New Mexico’s neighboring states are without these stringent reqirements.

New Mexicans will be protesting the Governor’s strict masking mandate Saturday, July 31, 2021, across the state. Find your protest location here.

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