Petition for Parent Choice! Masks optional for McKinney ISD
The undersigned, concerned parents, students, teachers and taxpayers of McKinney Independent School District, respectfully request that the McKinney ISD School Board immediately rescind the mandate requiring students to wear masks in order to attend school and make them optional including our Senior Graduations on May 21, 2021. We also request you allow teachers and staff the same choice.
Judge Chris Hill removed the "disaster declaration" for Collin County, the Governor removed the state mask mandate and all teachers and staff that requested a vaccination have had the opportunity. Healthy adults and children should not be forced - by the state or school district - to wear masks in order to teach class or attend school when the risk of infection is low and the benefit of wearing a mask is highly questionable. Forcing someone to wear a mask is an infringement on personal liberty and parental rights. Punishing a student through suspension or isolation for not wearing a mask should not be tolerated. The mental health and well-being of our students must be the highest priority.
The Texas Education Code in Sec. 26.001(1) states:
“Unless otherwise provided by law, a board of trustees, administrator, educator, or other person may not limit parental rights.”
It is our "parental right" to choose what we feel is best for our children as it relates to wearing a mask to school.
To address the Board’s prior concerns with contact tracing and quarantine, we also request the following change: if/when CONTACT occurs, parents should be notified and presented the OPTION to keep their child home, but not required to do so.
Texas Education Agency's close contact tracing and quarantine protocols state (2):
"Taking into account all of the above, school systems may apply any of the following stay-at-home periods to those individuals who are identified as close contacts, in the absence of specific control orders issued by their local health authority regarding the identified individuals."
It is clear from the TEA's use of the word 'may', and not "shall", that the contact tracing and quarantine protocols are NOT MANDATORY and the district can utilize local control in these decisions.
Our students deserve to return to a normal, healthy school environment so they can thrive. This includes free play at recess, healthy engagement with teachers and socializing with peers. Fine arts students should be able to perform and sing mask free as in years past. Rescinding the mandate will allow responsibility to parents, employees, and teachers, thus removing the schools and school resources from unequally enforcing between various Fine Arts and/or Sports programs between schools.
Therefore, WE the undersigned, petition the McKinney ISD School Board and Superintendent Dr. Rick McDaniel to exercise their right of local control in firm support of parental rights in striking down all policies mandating students to wear face masks including the removal of COVID "safety protocols" including face masks, social distancing and quarantines, following the precedent already set by 75+ other Texas School Districts (3).
Thank you for your time and consideration.
(1) The Texas Education Code - Sec. 26.001 - https://statutes.capitol.texas.gov/Docs/ED/htm/ED....
(2) TEA's March 23, 2021 Public Health Planning Guidance - Close contact tracing and quarantine protocols - Page 4 of https://tea.texas.gov/sites/default/files/covid/SY...
(3) Unmasked Texas Schools - tiny.cc/unmaskedschools