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Masks Optional for CWC

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We the parents, educators, loved ones, and other supporters of children who attend Carmi-White County Community Unit School District 5 are requesting you to please immediately vote to alter the District's 2021-2022 Return to School Plan to allow masks to be optional for all students, employees, and visitors to our schools. This would return the plan to its original position, before Governor JB Pritzker announced a mandate. We humbly ask for this change in light of the following:

  • The district's original position was taken without the threat of coercion and was taken in the best interests of the students. We believe the board and administration knows a mask-optional policy is best for students.
  • Over 30 Illinois school districts have decided to implement a mask-optional policy since the Governor's announcement, including fellow White County schools NCOE and Grayville. This list will be updated when possible and currently includes:
    • Beecher City CUSD 20
    • Benton
    • Carbondale District 95
    • Carlyle
    • Casey IL Schools
    • Clinton
    • Dakota CUSD 201
    • Dieterich Schools
    • Durand CUSD
    • Edwards County CUSD 1
    • Ewing-Northern Schools
    • Field Community CSD
    • Freeburg Elementary
    • Grayville
    • Illini West
    • Jasper
    • La Harpe
    • Mendon/Unity
    • Meridian
    • Morrisonville
    • NCOE
    • North Clay (Louisville)
    • North Wayne (Cisne)
    • Red Bud
    • Red Hill #10
    • Shelbyville CUSD 4
    • Spoon River Valley
    • Vandalia
    • Warsaw
    • Wayne City Unit 100
    • West Central CUSD 23
    • Woodlawn
    • Zion Lutheran Litchfield

We would also like to remind the board of the points we made in our earlier petition.

  • Children and young people are at extremely low risk of suffering severe effects from Covid-19, including the Delta variant.
  • All evidence regarding universal masking prior to 2020 showed that masks were ineffective at reducing transmission.
  • No clear evidence supporting universal masking has been presented since the start of the pandemic.
  • All teachers, staff, administrators and other adults employed by the school district have been eligible for the available vaccinations for several months.
  • Over two-thirds of other states do not require masks, and there has been no perceived reduction in viral spread in districts requiring masks when compared to districts with no mask requirements.
  • Many children and adults report adverse effects of long-term mask wearing.

We the undersigned believe it is both unnecessary and unhealthy to continue to require our children to wear masks, and we respectfully request that the School Board votes to make masks optional at the August 16th meeting.

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