LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - The LISD School Board has chosen to continue with their mask mandate for now, although some board members propose revisiting the issue a couple weeks after Spring Break.
The district looks to the Texas Education Agency for guidance, and recently, the TEA said school boards have the ability to change the mask policy through formal action.
On Thursday, Superintendent, Dr. Kathy Rollo, said she recommended keeping the mask policy for now. Lubbock Public Health Director Katherine Wells supported the decision, saying she is also in favor of masks.
Chelsea Anders, who has her 6-year-old daughter, Olivia, in an LISD elementary school, says she wants the mask policy to continue
“The impact and degradation of children’s mental health is a complicated issue right now and I don’t think it can be solely attributed to wearing masks,” Anders said.
Her daughter, Olivia, has Cerebral Palsy and has been in class since the beginning of the school year. Chelsea says she wants Olivia’s classmates to wear masks, since it can be hard for Olivia to wear one.
“Cerebral Palsy has now been added to the official list of high-risk disorders.”
“I am going with the least dangerous assumption. If we all wear masks, then we are doing something that could potentially positively affect the pandemic.”
Another parent, Heather Kidd, also supports the current mask policy: “I think that whatever LISD decides is best for our children and to keep our teachers safe is what we need to go by.”
Another parent wanted the board to get rid of masks. One anonymous mom said she believes they’re ineffective.
“I feel that at this point with our numbers so low, with teachers about to get the vaccine now, it’s time to stop making these kids wear the masks. They’ve been wearing them. Half of them don’t wear them properly anyway,” she said.
She says her 10-year-old son has been clinically diagnosed with anxiety and the masks contribute to it.
“My son, who is ten, had COVID in January and is in a grade where they have to wear masks. They take them off for lunch and when they’re all together in bathrooms and for other things.”
Dr. Kathy Rollo gave a presentation in the board meeting that showed recent survey results about the mask policy. She said more than 6,000 people voted, and out of those votes, 64 percent of them said yes to the mask policy, 29 percent said no, and 7 percent were unsure.
Two board members explained their issues with the mask policy on Thursday. The rest said they are for it.