Less than two weeks into the school year, my boys were back to remote learning. My twin sons had been 100% remote last year during all of fourth grade, and they were super excited about returning to school in person.
Last Monday, my son came home with a fever and looked horrible. I inquired about why he did not tell his teacher he wasn’t feeling well especially after my husband and I had told them to do so because we are still in a pandemic. He acknowledged that he remembered the conversation we had right before the school year began. He simply ignored our request. When I asked why, he said, “I wanted to keep going to school and be with my friends.”
He is not alone. Although both of my sons said they enjoyed the flexibility of remote learning … aka being able to play video games during free time, they wanted to be back in person with their friends. This is why mask mandates are important.
I am aware that across this state and the country, parents are showing up to school board meetings arguing about masks. The people I know who are doing the least amount of arguing are the students. They want to be in person. They want to see their friends. They want to learn uninterrupted. This cannot occur if students are being quarantined due to having COVID-19 symptoms or being a close contact to those who tested positive.
When we had to keep our sons home until we received the results of the COVID-19 test, the teacher wasn’t prepared for this sudden change. She told us that she would put activities on Canvas, and she did. I knew, as well as my sons, that this was not the same learning experience they would have received had they been in person.
So far, I have not felt the urge to speak at a school board meeting. If I did, it would not be about whether or not students should wear masks. I am disappointed by parents taking up time with this foolishness. We teach children to care about others and do what is best for everyone, but unfortunately, that message is not resonating with all adults.
I wear glasses, and yes, I would prefer not to wear a mask due to the constant fogging up of my glasses. However, I know this won’t be forever. If wearing a mask keeps students in schools, I believe parents should not resist these mandates.