Wichita BOE reverse course, mandate masks after 8 school days!

Wichita schools mandate masks indoors after just 8 days of school

13 days ago, I wrote an irritated blog explaining our reason for not sending our 11-year-old daughter back to in-person school, after the Wichita Board of Education, shortsightedly, in my opinion, chose to just “strongly encourage”, not mandate wearing a mask. A recommendation, which, from what I can see, the majority of students are ignoring, my high school senior son told me that maybe 1/4 of students wear a mask, and you have to wonder, how many of those maskless students have been vaccinated?

At last Monday night’s USD 259 BOE meeting, the board unanimously voted for a mask mandate starting next Monday, August 30, 2021. Earlier in the day, Gov. Laura Kelly urged Kansas school districts to mandate wearing masks, driven by new figures which show Kansas COVID-19 hospitalizations higher than we have seen since the start of this pandemic, putting a massive strain on the state’s hospitals.

The board listened to advice from Gov. Kelly, state and local public health experts, and opinions from parents, before voting 6 — 0 in favor of a mask mandate. Which, in my opinion, should have been the decision 13 days ago, given the stupidity of many in our community, who are anti-mask, and anti-vax, we cannot trust these people to do the right thing and get vaccinated and wear a mask around others.

The inevitable backlash has started on social media, with the anti-maskers vowing that they’ll unenroll their children if they are forced to wear a mask, claiming wearing a mask is child abuse. I say, “don’t let the door hit you on the way out”, We pulled our daughter out when we realized that masks were not to be mandated, our daughter is 11 and unable to be vaccinated, and my wife is immunocompromised, that’s an unacceptable risk for us. in Wichita alone, 194 students and 51 teachers have tested positive for COVID-19, and 1,600 students are in quarantine, and that’s after just eight days of school.

If you, as a parent, risk your child’s life because you feel your freedom is being infringed, that is child abuse! In my opinion, wearing a mask is better than wearing a ventilator or laying in a casket. I’ve heard people claim that wearing a mask is an infringement of their constitutional rights! Is wearing a seatbelt also an infringement of your constitutional rights? Is being forced to have your children vaccinated for regular childhood viruses, to attend school, a constitutional infringement? If you, the parent want to die on that hill, go ahead, but don’t force your children, and other’s children, to die on the hill with you!

The bottom line, we are still in this pandemic because of anti-maskers, anti-vaxxers, which is ironic, as if they wore a mask, got vaccinated, maybe we would not have needed this mask mandate? But, instead, right-wing media have publicized dubious “scientific studies”, including the likes of Fox News, indoctrinating millions of people, who then parrot those fake talking points, radicalizing more people.

So, I now need to talk with my wife about possibly returning our daughter back to school next Monday. A mask mandate may be in place, but how effective will it be? if the child holds the same beliefs as their parents, I have no reason to believe they will keep their mask on, or even rip my daughter’s mask off. During this pandemic, this sort of behavior has been rare but has happened, it’s been caught on camera. Literally, people have been abused for wearing a mask, by Karen’s and Ken’s, so much for freedom, eh?

Addendum (Aug, 25 2021, 14:25)

Our friends, who have their children in the neighboring Derby school district, found out last night that their eldest daughter had potentially been exposed to COVID-19 after one of her classmates tested positive. The exposure date was last week, and the school district only notified them yesterday, five days after the potential exposure. Clearly, school districts are not equipped to handle in-person school during these COVID times, how many other children were indirectly exposed while their daughter was still attending school? It’s affected our household too, as my wife and daughter were at their house over the weekend, now my wife has to take time off work, while she waits for her COVID-19 test results.

2 thoughts on “Wichita BOE reverse course, mandate masks after 8 school days!

  • Can’t help but get the feeling that the stable door is being closed after the horse has bolted with 245 people getting covid and all those people in quarantine.

  • Copper, it does seem that way, and what’s more baffling is that they are going to wait a further 4 school days before implementing this change of mask policy, how many more teachers and students are going to test positive for COVID-19 in that time frame?

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