Mask optional at IHM Anderson school

Members of the Immaculate Heart of Mary (IHM) Community request for IHM School to implement a "mask optional" policy for the remainder of the 2021-2022 school year.  The choice to mask children is a personal medical decision that should be made by parents, not school administrators. This optional masking allows those who wish to mask their children the freedom to do so and permits those that desire for their children to attend without masks to do the same.  We do not wish to develop a “no mask” policy and support parents who choose to mask their children for any reason.  We are asking IHM School to embrace their primary role of educating students and providing parents with data driven suggestions and best practices to keep kids safe while at school.

With the availability of Covid-19 vaccines to all teachers and staff, children 5 and over and with the proven low transmission rate from children, a "mask optional" policy is safe. "The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention previously reported the statistical insignificance of masking on the spread of COVID."  “Additionally, in light of the new ODH quarantine guidelines, wearing masks have no effect on whether a student must quarantine.” IHM has not provided any data on the efficacy of masks in a school setting and there are currently no mask mandates in place that IHM must follow.  Therefore, it should be up to parents to make educated, medical decisions for their children. 

Additionally, as a Catholic school, we believe each student is a unique child of God and a one size fits all medical mandate can be harmful to children.  The individual needs and struggles of a student are not considered in a school wide decision.  Long-term mask wearing can have negative physical, educational, and psychological consequences on some children.  Parents are best suited to decide what is in his or her own child’s best interest physically and emotionally.  

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