Make kids wear masks at school
Following up from my letter expressing disappointment regarding the Back to School Plan approved by GCCS, I was able to speak to the director of Secondary Education, Melissa Bower, and director of the Clark County Health Department, Dr. Eric Yazel, to voice my concerns. I appreciate that both of these individuals took their time to speak with me at length, but in the end neither was able to provide a satisfactory answer to why GCCS has made the decision to ignore the science and proceed with sending large numbers of students back into buildings without requiring face coverings.
I was told by both of these individuals that there would be no way to enforce mask usage at school. However, rules are enforced at school all of the time. Rules concerning backpacks, dress code, and conduct are consistently enforced in our schools and enforcement of masks should be no different.
Data shows that spending prolonged periods of time indoors with others is one of the highest risk factors for the spread of COVID-19 and that wearing masks is one of the most effective ways to mitigate that spread. This is simply a matter of keeping students and teachers safe and healthy, and we enforce safety rules in our schools every single day.
Both Ms. Bower and Dr. Yazel pointed out that masks are recommended. However, we see from the general population walking around anywhere in Clark or Floyd county that a “recommendation” renders about 20-25 percent compliance at best. I cannot safely send my child to school when 80 percent of the students around her will not be wearing a mask. If I cannot send my child to school safely my only option is an eLearning option that will be far inferior to in-person instruction and classroom interaction. Safety should not equal denial of equal educational standards.
Carrie Klaus, New Albany