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Parents tell board of their opposition to Bardstown City Schools’ masking mandate

Parent Kim Wright expresses her concerns to the Bardstown Board of Education regarding the district’s mandatory masking policy.

By JIM BROOKS
Nelson County Gazette / WBRT Radio

Tuesday, Sept. 21, 2021 — A group of parents attended Tuesday’s noon-time meeting of the Bardstown Board of Education to sound their opposition to the district’s policy to require the wearing of masks in the schools.

The group of parents talked about the health issues of wearing masks all day for students, as well as the emotional, social and mental health risks that mandatory masks may bring.

Boston area resident Kim Wright read excerpts from eight articles she found about the ill effects of making school children wearing masks. The articles questioned the rationale for making children and cited studies that questioned the effectiveness of masks in preventing the spread of COVID-19

One article claimed that mask wearing induces trauma in school children and the costs of masking them outweighed any possible benefit.

Wright advocated for eliminating the mask requirement for students and allow parents to make that decision.

Another Boston-area parent, Janel Carter, asked the board to return to a mask optional policy.

“I appreciate your concern for our students, but masks do not prevent contraction or spread of the virus.”

She also asked the board to let parents have the final say on if their children should wear a mask to school.

She also asked the board to ban the teaching of Critical Race Theory, which she called “a racist, devisive ideaology used as a tool by Marxists to undermine our judicial system, our military and our school system.”

Bardstown parent Candy Massaroni also questioned if masks are actually helpful in slowing the spread of COVID.

Massaroni said she felt that the district’s parents should work with the board to determine what’s in the best interest of the children.

“We would like a public vote to let parents choose” to mask or not, she said.

Board member Jim Roby listens as parents express their concerns about the district mask policy at Tuesday’s board meeting.

Bardstown parent Barbara Blackstone said she was fearful of speaking out about masks — fear of possible repercussions against her or her children. “I want to make American free, and apparently, that’s unpopular right now.”

With emotion in her voice, she said that parents need to have a choice in the masking issue.

Her daughter is struggling with mask wearing, she said. “A lot of kids are struggling with it,” she said. “Our kids are more likely to die of suicide than they are this COVID virus.”

The COVID virus was designed to destroy the United States, she said. “This mask is about ‘shut up and obey,” she said. “Do we want our children to be leaders, or do we want them to ‘shut up and obey’?”

Parent Laura Hill said she had lost her faith in the school system, and said she did not believe the board of education had their students’ best interest at heart.

She told the board masks are weakening children’s natural immunity. She has started homeschooling one of her children, and the district’s mask mandate may prompt her to remove her second child.

“I can only hold out so long hoping that you all will come to the right conclusion and do away with the mask mandate,” she said.

School kids don’t get breaks from wearing their masks outside of their lunch period, she said. The district’s teachers and staff have opportunities to take off their mask that the students do not have. “And that is unacceptable for our children.”

She called on the board to do their research on masks, and asked the board to make masks a recommendation and leave the decision to parents.

“You all have the otpion to stand up and be the first school around here to stand up and say ‘enough is enough.’ I beg you all please, look into it.”

Dr. Ryan Clark thanked the group for expressing their opinions with the board.

Board chairman Andy Stone noted that Kentucky has been one of the nation’s hotspots for new COVID-19 cases. There are two sides of every issue, he said, noting that each of the board had received letters from parents urging the board to keep the masks mandate.

As a group, the parents called on the board to put the mask mandate to a vote, and for the board members to publically declare if they were for or against masking.

“We need that to be public because we don’t know which one of you we need to elect out next time,’ one parent said.

Clark thanked the parents for coming to the meeting to express their concerns. The board took no action and did not discuss the district’s masking policty.

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