Change to mask exemption form sparks controversy in Spring Hill School District

Education

SPRING HILL, Kan. — The battle over masks in schools continues as students prepare for classes in the Spring Hill School District.

The school board recently updated its face mask medical exemption form.

At first, students needed a doctor’s signature certifying they had a condition that prevented them from wearing a mask. Now, a parent’s signature will suffice.

The school board made that decision during a meeting Monday night.

“I know that there are a lot of parents out there who wish that they could make those choices on their own, but what they really need is some guidance,” parent Jamin Landavazo said.

Landavazo always thought her kids would grow up in her South Olathe home, where they can play outside and be in a great school district.

Now she’s reconsidering it all after Monday’s Spring Hill Board of Education meeting.

“The idea that the parents are making a choice instead of a medical professional while we’re in the pandemic is not the right one,” Landavazo said.

The modification is causing some uproar in the district.

Some parents like Landavazo said children who can’t get the vaccine need to be protected by wearing a mask indoors. Others said wearing a mask should be their choice.

“I’m not a big fan of mask in school, but I want to keep my kids safe as well as other kids safe and teachers because we want the teacher to be in school and teach our kids,” parent Danielle Mcnally said.

The district is standing beside its decision and said parents with any concerns can reach out.

There is no formal approval for the forms. They’ll be submitted to the student’s school nurse. Staff members can also be exempt from wearing a mask.

Riding school buses are not a part of this mask exemption because it’s a federal rule right now.

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