A Colorado Springs school board member's social media post has angered a school counselor in Highlands Ranch, who says an elected official overseeing education should not be making fun of the governor’s new requirement that all Coloradans older than 10 must wear masks in indoor public spaces.
Jason Jorgenson, who was elected to the District 11 board in November 2019, posted a photo of himself on Facebook Friday morning wearing a net mask with holes in it and the caption, “Well everyone, I got my mask ready for the mandate, I can make yours for you, took me hours, haha.” He’s also wearing a Trump cap.
“I think it crosses a line,” said Dawn Venable, who works as a middle school counselor in Douglas County, north of El Paso County.
“It’s difficult times for people who work in schools, and at a time we’re talking about going back to schools, he’s making fun of the governor mandating masks and making light of it.”
The purpose of the post, Jorgenson said, was to open a discussion, which he said it did.
“I think as an individual, I’m allowed to exercise my opinion on my personal social media,” he said. “There’s science that supports the idea that masks don’t work with this virus; the particles are too small.”
As a science teacher for 10 years in the public-school system, Jorgenson said he has studied the issue and has formed his views based on research.
Venable said she doesn't think Jorgenson is setting a good example.
“I think it’s incredibly disrespectful,” she said. “People in elected positions should have higher standards.”
Such criticism means, “Nobody can disagree anymore,” Jorgenson said.
The post appeared on a page that is set for a private audience.
“The more we keep talking and stop shaming each other for having differing viewpoints, the better we will become as a community,” Jorgenson said.
Polis issued an executive order Thursday making it mandatory to wear a mask in public indoor places statewide in response to a resurgence in the number of people testing positive for the coronavirus after Colorado had succeeded in tamping down new infections in June.