Williamson County, Tennessee: Some mother and father hit the board that reinstated the masks mandate in elementary faculties
Heated arguments broke out in the parking lot on Tuesday evening after a school board in suburban Tennessee approved temporary mask requirements in elementary schools due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
With debates about masks resurfacing in U.S. schools early in the school year, the Board of Education in Williamson County, south of Nashville, approved mask requirements for elementary school students, staff, and visitors in all buildings and buses starting Thursday and late September 21 , according to information from the school district.
With the highly contagious Delta variant, Covid-19 cases and hospital stays among children are increasing. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that kindergarten through 12th grade students wear masks to school with teachers and visitors, while the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends masks in schools for everyone ages 2 and up.
And real evidence about masks leaves little doubt that they work.
During the special session of the Tennessee School Board, parents on both sides shared strong opinions on the mask issue.
A parent who identified themselves as Daniel Jordan, a former Marine, told the board, “Actions have consequences. If you vote for it, we will come for you non-violently. … you have dealt with sheep in the past; Now prepare to deal with lions. ”
Jennifer King, a parent and pediatric intensive care practitioner, said, “As a pediatric intensive care practitioner, we are seeing more younger, previously healthy children with respiratory failure and acute respiratory distress syndrome than with previous exposures, as cases in children come the rise. This trend will only get worse if we don’t act now. ”
During the meeting, the crowd cheered, clapped, and booed, and at some point people were asked with signs to clear the room.
Outside of the meeting, crowds of masked people were calling out and one man said, “We know who you are. You can go free, but we will find you, ”shows a video received from CNN. A sergeant from the Williamson County Sheriff’s Office was seen begging the crowd to be peaceful.
Debate – albeit less heated than the verbal argument in Williamson County – has unfolded in Florida in recent weeks, where the governor has threatened to withhold the salaries of principals and school board members who introduce mask mandates despite his parental orders how to protect their children in the pandemic.
Parents and school officials in Texas were also torn over how to protect children after that state’s governor passed an ordinance preventing schools from requiring masks.
Amy Beth Bennett / South Florida Sun-Sentinel / AP
Anti-mask attorney Heather Tanner (right) seeks to convince Mary Tereilleger, who teaches three-year-olds in Broward County’s Head Start program, that students should not wear masks when they return to school during a protest outside of Broward County School committee meeting on Tuesday, August 10, 2021 in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. To discuss a possible mask mandate when school starts next week. (Amy Beth Bennett / South Florida Sun-Sentinel via AP)
And in Georgia, parents are expected to protest at Cobb County School District headquarters Thursday to demand that the district introduce a mask mandate after fifth graders at one of its suburban Atlanta elementary schools were sent home for virtual learning this week high number of positive Covid-19 cases.
The Williamson County board of directors posted a statement on the mask debate that said, “Our parents are passionate about their children’s education, and that is one of the reasons our district has been successful over the years. With that in mind, there is no excuse for rudeness.
“We look after more than 40,000 students and employ more than 5,000 people. Our families and employees represent a variety of thoughts and beliefs, and it is important in our district that all families and employees have the opportunity to be represented and respected. We will continue to work to ensure that all voices are heard and that all families, staff and community members feel safe to share their views, ”the district added.
The temporary mask mandate allows teachers who are at least 6 feet away from students to remove their masks, the district said. The measure applies specifically to elementary schools, and the wearing of masks is strongly recommended for middle and high school students.
In late July, the CDC also recommended that communities encourage all teachers, staff, students, and visitors to schools to wear masks indoors, regardless of vaccination status, as the Delta variant is spreading rapidly.
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