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'It's on you': Harford County parents claim mask policy negatively impacts students' mental health

Harford County parents claim mask policy negatively impacts students' mental health
Posted at 10:14 PM, Feb 14, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-14 23:25:44-05

HARFORD COUNTY, Md. — Harford County parents attended Monday’s Board of Education meeting to speak out against the district’s mask mandate.

“For every death and for every uneducated child, who will never catch up. It’s on you,” one parent said.

“I implore you to allow the parents to choose what is right for their children,” another parent stated.

Parents who spoke during the meeting believe the mandate is having a negative impact on students' learning as well as their mental health.

“The impact to our students, the mental health has been increased 300 percent. You guys are killing them through depression and anxiety, not through COVID,” one parent claimed.

The push to end the district’s mandate comes a week after Governor Larry Hogan called on the state board of education to lift it statewide.

Back in December, the state board approved a resolution, allowing districts to end their mandates if they meet certain criteria.

One of them included an 80 percent vaccination rate. So far, Harford County falls short of that benchmark by 15 percent.

“If [The State Board of Education] decide to eliminate the mask mandate statewide, then it becomes a local decision and at that point you can hold our feet to the fire. But until that time, we're obeying all of the rules,” said board member Dr. Roy Phillips.

"Truly, we have wonderful teachers at our school and we will have some that will leave at the end of the year just because of all the stuff you are hearing right now,” one parent said.

Another parent stated, “I am standing here tonight as a parent and a life long resident of the county, demanding you as a board, please step in, please step up and advocate for our children. Thank you.”

The State Board of Education plans to meet next week.