(KTXL) — With the COVID-19 delta variant continuing to spread, many schools are determining if students and staff should wear a face mask indoors when they return to school.
The Amador County Unified School District Board of Trustees decided Wednesday that students will have to mask up when school begins this month, but parents can ask their doctor for an exemption. Some parents argue the decision should be left up to them.
“There is no win-win with this one,” said Superintendent Torie Gibson.
Gibson says the goal is to keep schools open, keep students and staff safe and on campus five days a week.
“I think everyone is politically divided. We are going to have a lot of parents who are not going to like that decision any more than parents who would like it if we force students to be masked,” Gibson said.
The decision was applauded by the Amador County Teachers Association. A representative said a majority of their members asked for masks to return regardless of vaccination status.
“They are overstepping with our rights as parents and what we should be able to decide for our kids,” said parent Sophia Davis.
Davis says her kids are starting to hate school because of the face coverings. Now, she will consider if she wants her kids to continue attending within the district.
“It just kills me anytime and every time I see a kid wearing a mask,” said parent John Freeseha.
Freeseha believes the decision should be left to parents and not to elected officials. The father of four daughters says he is concerned about the mental health of his children and other students.
An Amador County health officer advocated for face masks to return as COVID-19 cases rise, but Freeseha says he believes in personal freedom.
“I was in the Marine Corps for 12 years. I understand people die. I served this country for 12 frickin years to give people the freedom of choice, and my kids can’t go to school without wearing a mask, it’s unacceptable,” Freeseha said.
Superintendent Gibson asks everyone to be patient with them because the guidelines are changing and they are the ones who have to enforce those rules.