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An IR View: Disrespecting educators, domestic violence support, increasing vaccine capacity

An IR View: Disrespecting educators, domestic violence support, increasing vaccine capacity

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Some in our community are showing an appalling level of disrespect for the educators who are putting their health on the line for our children every day.

Earlier this week, the Independent Record reported that while most parents and families who responded to a recent Helena Public Schools survey indicated they want children in the classroom more often, most school district employees indicated they still prefer the hybrid online/in-person model. Instead of trying to understand why the staff feels that way, many on social media accused local educators of being lazy, entitled and scared.

It’s OK to disagree about the best path forward for our schools. It’s not OK to lash out against local educators who are working harder than ever to provide a quality education to our children amid a global pandemic that has already killed more than 1,300 Montanans.

Children are hurting. Educators are hurting. Everyone is hurting.

Please do not forget that the enemy is the virus, not each other.

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As Jenny Eck prepares to start the next chapter of her career, we want to congratulate her on a job well done as executive director of The Friendship Center.

Eck started at The Friendship Center in July 2018 and plans to step down in April to pursue an international fellowship in Peace and Conflict Resolution.

The Helena-based nonprofit provides free shelter and other services to victims of domestic violence, sexual assault and stalking in Lewis and Clark, Broadwater and Jefferson counties. Its board chair Katie Loveland credited Eck for working to diversify funding sources, expand its staff, overhaul its policies and procedures, update its branding, strengthen its relationships with the community and raise awareness about its mission.

The Friendship Center serves a critical need in our community, and Eck has played a major role in its success during the last few years.

Her successor will have big shoes to fill.

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Thanks to Carroll College and its President John Cech for helping to make the COVID-19 vaccine rollout run a little more smoothly in Lewis and Clark County.

After making its campus available to Lewis and Clark Public Health, Carroll College announced that it will be used as a drive-thru distribution point for the second dose of the vaccine. Local health officials said the addition of a second site will double the county’s capacity to serve the community as vaccine supply allows.

Partnerships like this demonstrate Carroll College’s ongoing commitment to our area, and we are lucky to have such a community-minded institution here in Helena.

This is the opinion of the Independent Record editorial board. 



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