The San Bernardino Unified School District (SBCUSD) gathered for what was Superintendent Dale Marsden’s final board meeting before his last day on Tuesday, March 31.
Marsden along with the six board members were practicing the recent health guidance by the Center for Disease Control of social distancing due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Marsden gave the inspirational message by quoting C.S. Lewis regarding the atomic bomb but replacing the words “atomic bomb” with “coronavirus”, below is what Marsden said.
‘“In one way we think a great deal too much of the coronavirus. How are we to live in a cornonavirus age? I am tempted to reply: Why, as you would have lived in the 16th century when the plague visited London almost every year, or as you would have lived in a Viking age when raiders from Scandinavia might land and cut your throat any night; or indeed, as you are already living in an age of cancer, an age of syphilis, an age of paralysis, an age of air raids, an age of railway accidents, an age of motor accidents.
‘“In other words, do not let us begin by exaggerating the novelty of our situation. Believe me, dear sir or madam, you and all whom you love were already sentenced to death before the cornonavirus was invented: and quite a high percentage of us were going to die in unpleasant ways. We had, indeed, one very great advantage over our ancestors—anesthetics; but we have that still. It is perfectly ridiculous to go about whimpering and drawing long faces because the scientists have added one more chance of painful and premature death to a world which already bristled with such chances and in which death itself was not a chance at all, but a certainty.
This is the first point to be made: and the first action to be taken is to pull ourselves together. If we are all going to be destroyed by a cornoavirus, let that virus when it comes find us doing sensible and human things—praying, working, teaching, reading, listening to music, bathing the children, playing tennis, chatting to our friends over a pint and a game of darts—not huddled together like frightened sheep and thinking about coronavirus. They may break our bodies (a microbe can do that) but they need not dominate our minds.”’
After the message Marsden had some final comments as superintendent, he said “This is my last board meeting with you, we certainly have shared some fascinating experiences together including our present dilemma with coronavirus, but we have managed our former crisis well with both compassion and care, and I know will do the same here. He said when he started with SBCUSD his children were ages 18, 16,14 and 11, and two of them successfully graduated Cajon High School. He wife are celebrating their 30th anniversary.
Marsden closed his remarks; “It has been my and my family’s greatest pleasure to serve with you in this community.” Marsden said he would continue to live in the area and have an active part in the region.
Deputy Superintendent Harold J. Vollkommer will take over as interim superintendent on Wednesday, April 1, until a new superintendent is found.