Just this week, a new Facebook group appeared and quickly gained almost 500 members who want to address the changes COVID-19 is causing to public schools, as well as take a stand by calling on local leadership on other matters as they arise.

One member said the group is a "really good idea" and "we need a voice." The page administrator and Tyrone resident, Mike Maloney, said he hopes the group will help with that.

"Looks like many of us share the same viewpoint," he noted. "[It] is growing much faster than I anticipated."

Maloney pointed out that the photo on the group Facebook page features the Tyrone Area High School graduating class of 2020 - which was stripped of senior year memories. That's in large part due to Governor Tom Wolf's orders, said Maloney, as he "is more concerned with power and control than he is the well being of the citizens of PA."

The group has been started to make sure this doesn't happen again in the local community, Maloney added. "We can come together collectively, giving us the ability to stand up for what is right at the local level and making us a strong and organized unit to help fight issues at the state level," he said.

The group supporters feel that parents should be able to watch their children play sports, and that students should not have to be forced to wear masks to school, not be able to have lunch with friends, nor attend school in "shifts," as has been proposed for the 2020-21 school year. A recent survey was available online to Tyrone School District parents to select options about returning back to school in the fall, including a selection for different "shifts" for children to attend school.

"It is time Tyrone returns to normal," Maloney stated on the Facebook page. "Local leadership has the right and the responsibility to listen to the people to aid in determining how we move forward."

With other objectives on the horizon, for now, the goal is to have a good group representation at the upcoming school board meeting, although as of Monday the superintendent was supportive in setting up a separate meeting to discuss the group's goals and the developing plan of the school district. 

"Organizing is the best way to be heard," said Maloney. "There really is no point to this group if we are not going to use it as a platform to organize and be heard."

Adeena Harbst can be reached at aharbst@thedailyherald.net.


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