Make Masks Optional in the Quaker Valley School District!

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To: Superintendent Dr. Tammy Andreyko and Quaker Valley School District Board Members:

We (the parents and residents of Quaker Valley School District) request that the School Board remove mandatory masks for all students and staff and make masks “optional” for the 2021-2022 school year.

The mask mandate in Pennsylvania was lifted on June 28, 2021. Mask mandates for all ages and for any school activities are no longer required. Per a letter dated June 22, 2021 from State Representative Valerie Gaydos, “if your school board, at its’ discretion, chooses to implement and enforce their own mitigation practices, that will remain solely at the school board’s decision and expense.”

It is unnecessary and unhealthy to continue to require our children to cover their faces with masks at school for hours on end. Children do not readily acquire SARS-CoV-2 (very low risk), spread it to other children or teachers, or endanger parents or others at home. In the rare cases where a child contracts Covid virus it is very unusual for the child to get severely ill or die.

“Many nations around the world — including the U.K., Ireland, all of Scandinavia, France, the Netherlands, Switzerland, and Italy — have exempted kids, with varying age cutoffs, from wearing masks in classrooms. Conspicuously, there’s no evidence of more outbreaks in schools in those countries relative to schools in the U.S. These countries, along with the World Health Organization, whose child-masking guidance differs substantially from the CDC’s recommendations, have explicitly recognized that the decision to mask students carries with it potential academic and social harms for children and may lack a clear benefit.”

We believe that masking can harm children. Concerns are being raised regarding psychological and physical deterioration, with potential negative impacts on cognitive development. This is even more critical for children with special needs or those within the autism spectrum who need to be able to recognize facial expressions as part of their ongoing development.

We believe parents/families should be able to perform their own risk assessment, considering physical, mental, and psychological risks and benefits for their children when it comes to all medical decisions, including masking.

By signing this petition, we officially and respectfully request that you immediately make face-coverings optional for all children and staff in the Quaker Valley School District for the 2021-2022 school year.

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