Jane Becher

Choice for SFDA Parents

Jane Becher
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We, the parents and guardians of the SFDA community, request the reconsideration of the masking policy implemented last Friday August 13 in our SFDA community. Many of us chose this school last year for the willingness to lead the way in our community for in-person learning and we expected the same leadership as our country begins the transition of optional masking. Children are, and thankfully continue to be a very low risk population for Covid (in the realm of risk children are much more likely to die on the car ride to school yet we still drive). Without data to back up the efficacy of cloth masks within a school setting, it doesn't seem right to take away the choice of families and teachers in our community. Our children started this school year believing they had a choice and were quickly blindsided with the reality of the mask after only 4 days in school. Now, in addition to discomfort of the mask, their friends, who 4 days ago they finally got to see after a long summer, are being pulled away from beside them in the classroom to attend another school. Flagstaff Christian has spots, families are moving their kids over there fast and our community is being torn apart so soon after the beginning of the school year. It's incredibly traumatic for all our children. Why would we add to the trauma so unnecessarily? Covid is here to stay. Let's be the model in our community for how to live with it. We are going to have spikes and we are going to have seasons that are worse than others. Our solution to this cannot always be masking the least vulnerable yet most impressionable members of our community, our children. Last year two private schools were open for in-person, SFDA and Flagstaff Christian. FCS never had masks (not a single child or teacher wore a mask) and they had fewer cases than SFDA. They had no issue staying open and in-person and this was BEFORE the vaccines. THIS SHOULD MEAN SOMETHING! This should mean far more to us than the CDC or AAP recommendations that have become incredibly polarized and politized. We are living in a world where top scientists come out and suggest kids not wear masks and they are censored and deleted from the internet. Their reason and voice is silenced. Don't silence the SFDA community the parents of need a voice in this. Let's be honest, there is little we know and there is lots of guessing when it comes to living with coivd. In these uncertain times, we must trust in the power of choice. We must believe in the principle that every human will choose what's best for their children and community. A minority of people cannot decide what's better for all, that's not the democratic method we believe in. Allow all of us to take information from different places and reach our own conclusions based on our tolerance or risk, just as Fr. Will and Mr. Carroll have done. It's been a tiring year and a half for everyone, but we, as parents, want our choice to mask or not mask our children to be appreciated and valued. That was stripped from us last Friday and if we don't reverse this decision quickly we will be stripped of many good families our community needs. Cloth masks aren't worth that. Please let us choose.

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