In light of the NYS health department allowing (summer) schools to make the choices on masking for their staff and students, I urge you at Scotia Glenville to take this opportunity to move towards a more normal environment and allow masks to be optional, instead of mandatory. Our community, along with the rest of the state and country, have had a rough year and a half and students have been affected negatively so much by this. It has taken a toll on them mentally, emotionally, phsyically, and intellectually. It will take time to recover from the damage done from lockdowns/COVID. As each opportunity to move towards normal presents itself, we should continue to move in that direction, and not stay still. Our students and community deserve that.
While I understand last year when the policies for the school were being made last summer, so much was unknown and the school was held to the requirements of the state health departments. A lot has changed in the past year and we have learned a lot over that overwhelmingly supports the idea that masks should be optional and not mandatory.
-Children have little to no negative affects from COVID-19
-Any adults who have had an interest in getting the vaccine, have had plenty of time to be able to do that.
-The available data collected over the past year and a half on the effectiveness of masks does not support it as an effective step against preventing the spread of COVID-19. (Many of the packaging that masks come in, even explicitly say on the box that they cannot prevent contracting/spreading COVID-19).
-More and more data is becoming available regarding negative health impacts mask wearing has had on children. (Bacteria, breathing problems, etc).
-Almost every other area in the state is opening up (aside from public transportation, hospitals, senior care, and schools). People are going all over the place living life and have the option for masks, except when they come into school.
The main concern for students wearing masks has always been about the possibility for them to transfer it to other family members. Again, at this point, any adult has had every opportunity to get the COVID vaccine, and Covid has never been a real concern for children (according to the data).
I know the district has had to make a lot of tough decisions over the past year, but I think it is time for us to move in the direction of normalcy as we have been given liberty to do, and the concerns that were there last year are no longer the same concerns we are dealing with today. Please take this step to normalcy and allow masks to be optional. While you can never please everyone, that option allows everyone to make the decision that they personally are comfortable with.
RESPONSE: Thanks for your comments and suggestions.