Mask choice for Peabody schools
It’s time for parents to speak up if they do not want their child wearing a mask for 7+ hours a day come fall. Guidance has been released this week by the CDC indicating that masking and social distancing of children is still being strongly encouraged for the fall, completely ignoring all data that suggests that children are not at high risk. The CDC is also continuing to push for vaccination of children even at the youngest grade levels, who are rarely affected by COVID-19 based on vast amounts of data, so the masking and social distancing guidance can be lifted. This vaccination is for emergency use, and the long term affects of it on children are unknown. We should not be forcing families to vaccinated their low risk children or face having their children wear masks all day long moving forward and it is wrong to do this. The decision to vaccinate young children should be something that is taken into consideration by each individual family and in conversations with local health experts but not something that is forced upon families so their children can attend school free of masks. People can attend concerts, sporting events, graduations without masks or social distancing. People can go into stores, take dance and exercise classes, and eat in restaurants now without masks, many without regard to vaccination status. Why on earth should schools be any different? Schools have been proven to not be super-spreader locations, teachers have had ample opportunity to be vaccinated, even having been fast tracked to receive the vaccination. MASS DESE FALL HEALTH UPDATE which states explicitly: “At this time, all health and safety guidance including masking and physical distancing will be lifted. We will collaborate with the Department of Public Health (DPH) to issue any additional health and safety recommendations over the summer should they become necessary.” The data hasn't changed since making this statement. Fear mongering about the “Delta” variant needs to stop and should not be the sole reason for making decisions for our students, and our children who have attended both indoor and outdoor camps without masks throughout the summer will absolutely not revert back to wearing masks for over 7 hours a day while at school. There is absolutely no science to support it, and should not be put in place for the sake of “safety”, especially in our community. We need to unmask our children,and allow them to live their lives in absolute normalcy in the fall when they return to school. If there are those who CHOOSE to mask their children, they should be respected. However, we should also be able to CHOOSE to not put a mask on our children and be respected as well. If you would like mask wearing for children and teachers to be a choice this fall please sign this petition.