They testified to the Board Of Education Last Monday.
Frederick, Md (KM) Several citizens spoke out last week against the Frederick County School System’s mask and vaccine policy put in place to slow the spread of COVID-19. Students, teachers, staff and visitors are required to mask up in buildings and on school buses. The only exceptions are for lunch and recess.
In October, the Board also adopted a policy requiring students participating in extra-curricular activities be vaccinated against the coronavirus, or undergo weekly COVID testing by December 6th, the start of winter sports.
Jaime Brennan said this policy did not receive sufficient public input. She also asked these questions. “Where’ s the evidence that proves that repeated testing is safe as a long term practice? What about student privacy concerns, specifically what will be done with our student data? How will this third party use this information? Who else will use this information? How will you prevent bullying or coercion of the non-vax students and respect their privacy,” she asked.
Devin Brennan, a Linganore High student, also expressed his opinions. “We can go out anywhere and not wear a mask. But in school, we have to wear a mask,” he said. “It’s kind of stupid.”
He also said COVID-19 is not a major health issue. “Masks also hinder facial expression. You can’t express as well with a mask on. And it’s not healthy to wear a mask for an extended period of time,” says Brennan.
Another speaker, Amy Farr, said any decision on whether to wear a mask or get vaccinated against OCVID-19 should be left to parents. “Those who feel strongly about masking or vaxing, should be entitled to do so,” she said. “Do whatever you need to for your and your family to live with this current situation. But expand the same courtesy and respect to all,”: she says.
Michael Farr had similar comments. “Giving this back to parents to make these decisions–mask, don-t mask, vaccinate, don’t vaccinate–these are the discussions to be had among families, and personal doctors; not among public officials and bureaucrats,” he said.
Sara Ferrari called on the Board of Education to repeal these mandates. “FCPS cannot justify the discriminatory and unfounded vax or test policy,” she said. “I urge you to rescind the policy. It’s not about health; it’s about othering, obedience and control,” said Ferrari.
On Thursday, the Frederick County Health Department issued a statement advising but not mandating that masks before worn indoors to help prevent t he spread of COVID-19.
The Maryland State Department of Education and the State Board of Education will hold a virtual meeting on Wednesday, December 1st to review mask mandates in the state.
By Kevin McManus