OVERLAND PARK, Kan. — Earlier this week, the Blue Valley School District announced no one will be required to wear masks in schools.
The mother of an immunocompromised 10-year-old said the decision is premature and is concerned for her daughter who will be in-person learning this upcoming school year.
She said children like her daughter are being forgotten as cases of COVID-19 continue to climb and mask mandates continue to be lifted.
“I don’t want my daughter to end up in the hospital. I don’t know what COVID would do to her,” said the girl’s mother, Jeannie. “These are our children, we should have a compact to take care of our children first. If It means being uncomfortable or doing something you don’t feel comfortable doing for a little bit longer, it’s worth it.”
Every day her daughter is learning how to navigate life after being diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes last year constantly having to manage her blood sugar.
The mother asked her daughter not to be identified after the contentious school board meeting.
“We make decisions all day, every day to keep herself safe,” Jeannie said. “We’ve been home for a year. She’s paid her dues. She should get to go to school and feel safe at the same time.”
Jeannie and other parents hope the district will reverse the decision at least until vaccines are available to younger students.
Children under the age of 12 still aren’t authorized for the vaccine.
They are also advocating that the district to create a masked classroom for each grade.
“The fact that county health officials have recommended masking, the fact the American Academy of Pediatrics has recommended masking for everyone. We thought, of course they are going to listen to these voices of reason if they’re not going to listen to our stories. So far they haven’t,” Jeannie said.