Category: News

No Soliciting Sign

Safety Tip: Pick up a No Soliciting sign, at least for the duration of the Coronavirus pandemic

Considering purchasing a “No Soliciting” sign for your home and for the home of any relatives or loved ones who may have higher risk factors for COVID-19.

Last Thursday, our evening was interrupted by the doorbell, our three little dogs sounded the alarm, and we found a salesman at our door. He wasn’t wearing a mask, despite stopping at almost every house on our street (and who knows how many streets before and after ours).

Moments after he left, I purchased a “No Soliciting” sign for about six bucks. While I felt a little like an angry old man shouting at neighbors to stay off my lawn when I installed the sign (and by installed, I mean peeled off the adhesive tape on the back and stuck it to above my doorbell), a sign is a good idea, at least for now. Door-to-door sales is an awfully bad idea during a global pandemic.

While door-to-door solicitation is generally protected by the First Amendment, local ordinances may impose certain time, place, and manner restrictions. Many municipalities require a license for door-to-door soliciting, and some, including Normal Illinois, where I live, suspended solicitation licenses during the shelter-in-place order.

Despite the First Amendment rights of door-to-door salespeople, residents also have certain rights and can post a “No Soliciting” or “No Trespassing” sign. Most municipalities prohibit door-to-door salesmen from soliciting upon a property with a posted sign.

While a “No Soliciting” sign will not work in all cases, and police probably aren’t going to rush to you house with lights and sirens if a salesperson or missionary intent on saving your soul ignores your sign, it will serve as an effective deterrent, and may help you or a loved one avoid contracting COVID-19.

A “No Soliciting” sign is also a wise idea for aging relatives, even in the absence of the coronavirus pandemic, as there is a high correlation between door-to-door sales and  high-pressure tactics and con artists who prey on the elderly.

2020 Scholarship Winners

Congratulations to the 2020 Winners of the Mary Rohrscheib Teaching Scholarship!

The 2020 winners of the Mary Rohrscheib Teaching Scholarship are Tyra Austin, Olivia Earl, and Adriana Rosales.

Tyra Austin of Decatur

Tyra Austin submitted an essay about the many ways her high school English teacher Ron Lybarger inspired and encouraged her. She wrote, “When a student experiences an educator who not only believes in them, but pushes them, and assists them in becoming the best versions of themselves, it impacts their lives for the better.” She observed that for Mr. Lybarger, “the classroom is a sacred place.”

Olivia Earl of Clinton

Olivia Earl shared memories of her fourth-grade teacher at Clinton Elementary School Celeste Flanagan: “Mrs. Flanagan was radiant with positivity and kindness. She always gave her students her full attention and worked tirelessly to make sure they felt comfortable in the classroom.” She remembered how special Mrs. Flanagan made her feel and how it made Olivia want to make others feel special too, “By her example, I realized that through love, patience, and understanding, I could make a positive difference in the lives of people around me.” She concluded, “Teachers impact students by giving them hope for a future bigger than themselves and a heart capable of changing the world.”

Adriana Rosales of Bloomington

Adriana Rosales submitted an essay celebrating the many ways she was inspired by Guille Delgado, her first and third grade teacher at Bent Elementary School. She wrote: “I have had many amazing teachers in the past, but Mrs. Delgado has definitely had a huge impact on my life. Not only did she show me that fighting for your beliefs takes you far in life, but she has also taught me to stay true to my roots and that putting my future students first, could make me play an important part in their lives. I hope that one day I can have a student that can get emotional from my emails such as I do from Mrs. Delgado’s, and that I can make her proud. Mrs. Delgado believed that her students could accomplish anything and here I am on my track to becoming a teacher thanks to her. I will forever be grateful.”

A Note of Thanks

I’d like to thank Ron Lybarger, EHS Principal Amy Zahm, Celeste Flanagan, and Guille Delgado, for joining me to present the checks and congratulate the winners. Their former students were delighted to see them again.

I’d also like to thank Ali Valdez for helping promote the scholarship, Barb Janes (a dear friend of grandma’s who taught with her) for her help in reading the essays and selecting winners, Anneke Godlewski for suggesting the essay prompt and help putting this together, my friends at Decatur Digital Solutions for setting up the web form to make applying easy, and all of the very impressive students who applied. It was encouraging to read such thoughtful essays from students in our community who are so passionate about becoming teachers.