Letter to the Editor 9/9/21: Parent pleas for pressure on school officials to mandate masks in classrooms

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Editor:

We keep getting news from parents, that their children have been exposed to COVID-19, have tested positive and are under observation, or isolation. The ones we know about are not many, but the absence of any communication lends credence to the concern that there may many, many others. Our social circles at OPE are not big, but then again, the school is also not big. The few cases of exposure we know about already place the school at a relevant percentage for infection risk.
Notice we got those notices from PARENTS. Not a peep from school, or the County. PARENTS are conducting contact tracing, haphazardly, without ANY support from the school, because of the lethargy dominating schools. It’s unacceptable, unconscionable that we are kept in the dark about the ABJECT FAILURE to protect children, by the absence of enforced mitigation measures. As you are already aware, one of our children was already assaulted (because, LEGALLY, that is what it is) with body fluids, by an unmasked kid. We pondered legal action but decided to trust the best judgment from your offices, in bringing SOME form of enforced action. There has been none.
Every day we see the car line with nearly no masked children, or teachers, clustered in tight groups. A “suggested” system of mitigation, with opt-outs no less, is akin to cordoning off a section of the pool, and declaring children can only pee behind that rope. Laugh, but the imagery is apt.
Where do you, yourself not others, draw the line? Must we wait, idle, for the inevitable bad news of actual harm to a child, by omission? We have sent feedback about the situation to the Clay County School Board members. They seem climbing over each other in an urge to do nothing, divert responsibility of making any decisions. Pressure from principals might make them suddenly care. I certainly hope a notice of obit is not what it takes to jostle the entire Clay County School system out of their inertia and outright denial.
Disappointed, yet not entirely surprised,

Fabiano Moya

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