Frederick County Public Schools Reopen Next Week With Mask Requirements

Several parents are opposed.

Frederick, Md (KM) The first day of classes for Frederick County Public Schools is Wednesday, August 18th. When students, staff and visitors come through the doors, they’d better be wearing a mask. Last week, Superintendent Dr. Theresa Alban issued an order last week for anyone entering the buildings to mask up.

Dr. Alban says it’s a way to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus, and preserve in-person learning. Last year, the School System put a hybrid model in place so that students came to school buildings for in-person classes for two days, and spent the other three days in virtual learning.

This woman, who did not want to use her name when she spoke to WFMD News, said she is against the mask requirement, and protested with several other last week outside of the School System Headquarters. “I have no activism background whatsoever. But a couple months ago, my family and I said here we are in our life and we will never put on a mask again. There is just no need for it. It was all fear-based, and we are done. Enough is enough,” she said.

But Dr. Alban says the virus is still out there. In her arguments for the mask policy, Dr. Alban said since the pandemic began, there have been 1,008 COVID-19 documented cases in children age 0-9, and 2,485 in children 10 to 19., and fewer that 50 hospitalizations for people under 20. She also said in many cases children are asymptomatic, and can spread the virus to unvaccinated and immuno-compromised adults.

The woman who was part of the protest last week said any decision for children to wear masks should be up to their parents. “We as parents have the choice. And when I found that they made the decision to mask all kids again, I just knew I was called to protest,” she said. “And I really, really, really believe it is not their decision to make. It’s never their decision to make. It is the parents’ decision.”

As part her decision, Dr. Alban says there is no requirement for face coverings to be worn outdoors, but it’s strongly recommended for those who are not vaccinated. The only exceptions to the mask rule are medical conditions, disability, development immaturity and other health and safety concerns are indicated by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

In comments to WFMD News, Dr. Alban said she has received a lot of support for her decision regarding face masks. She said they were worried about sending their kids back to schools if masks were not required.