When sending kids off to school each morning (back when we did such a thing), parents typically have two things in mind. They want a good education for their children and, more importantly, they expect that they will get that in a safe environment.

For Lauren Shillinger, creating that safe environment for her daughter Brynleigh included making sure teachers would know how to help should her daughter have a seizure while in school. Brynleigh has a rare genetic disorder, tuberous sclerosis complex, which could cause her to have as many as 25 seizures per day.

Out of this concern grew “Brynleigh’s Act”, legislation sponsored in the House of Delegates by Del. Ken Kerr and in the state senate by Sen. Ron Young that would specifically provide protections for children who experience seizures in school and require at least two staff members be trained how to medically respond. If passed, the law would go into effect for the 2021-22 school year.

“Brynleigh’s Act helps ensure that students with seizure disorders have the resources they need to go to school without fear for their safety,” Young told the Capital News Service in a release.

We would agree and we hope the legislature gets this approved this session.

If you read the FNP on a regular basis, be it online or in print, you already know that coverage of high school sports is a staple of what we do. There aren’t many things that speak to the community more than the success of local athletes.

But for the past several months, with the pandemic putting a pause on high school games, our pages haven’t had the same level of local content. And try as we might, it was going to be next to impossible to fill the sports pages without those games.

So, with the winter sports season returning next week, our sports staff has been approaching returning coverage with a bit of excitement and, given the unrelenting COVID-19 numbers, a fair bit of caution. From our conversations with school athletic officials, they’re feeling the same. So much so, that earlier this week, we had the impression that we weren’t going to be allowed to cover these games at all.

But fortunately, after some back and forth, we’re going to be allowed to send a reporter and photographer to cover games. We’ve agreed to certain protocols to ensure everyone’s safety and we have also agreed that any post-game interviews will be done from at least six feet apart and while wearing masks.

We appreciate the schools giving us this access. Now, if we could only get a photographer inside to cover a school board meeting...

We’re unabashed pet lovers here, so it was very disappointing to learn this week that pet adoptions from the county’s animal control shelter were down almost 50 percent for the last six months of 2020 compared to a year ago.

Once again, the pandemic is to blame. The shelter has been closed to visitors since April. If there’s any silver lining, it’s that animal intake is down as are cases of euthanasia. Rescue groups are also helping at a higher rate.

But Linda Shea, director of animal control and the pet adoption center, believes that the tough economy is keeping people from sharing a home with an animal.

“Everybody’s lifestyle has changed so rapidly,” Shea told our reporter Mary Grace Keller. “We’re all in the state of unknown.”

While we certainly can understand, we encourage those who can adopt a pet to visit animal control’s page on the Frederick County government website or its Facebook page. Staff are available to answer calls at 301-600-1546.

It’s always impressive when Frederick County residents end up on national TV. And this week, Peter Wood, a magician who lives near Mount Airy, became the latest local to do that.

Known as the “Collector of the Impossible,” Wood has been performing magic shows throughout the region for years and recently landed a spot on the CW’s “Penn & Teller: Fool Us.” After rehearsing over the summer, Wood flew to Las Vegas in October and taped the show, which aired nationally on Friday.

Wood credited the opportunity, in part, to COVID. He said he found himself with a lack of work due to the halting of live performances last spring and decided to prove to himself that he was good enough for the show. So he submitted an audition tape.

We’re not only glad that Wood got to appear on the show representing our area, but also that the pandemic actually led to something positive for once. We hope you got a chance to see him.

Yeas and nays is a weekly feature of quick-hit opinions from The Frederick News-Post’s editorial board. Send your suggestions to letters@newspost.com.

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