TOWSON, Md. — With the first day of classes just around the corner parents are making another push to keep the masks off at Baltimore County Schools.
They rallied outside of a board of education meeting Tuesday night.
Superintendent Daryl Williams made the decision that all students must wear masks in schools and on buses.
This masks off rally was organized by Amy Adams and the Baltimore County Student and Parent Coalition.
“We just want to understand what data they are using to make the decisions to reinstate the mask mandate,” Adams said. “Here in Baltimore County we are doing really well with our vaccination rates. I think that’s amazing. Our community metrics are still pretty good.”
The school board chair said the school system follows the science, and they update a dashboard on the school systems website in real time with transmission data for the county and the school system.
At last check there was a moderate transmission rate on the 26 close contacts and 12 positive cases— most of which came in the elementary school age group.
“We also would love for them to openly discuss how masks negatively impact certain students,” Adams said. “Particularly the youngest learners who are trying to learn to read and do Phonics. They need to hear and see each other and their teacher. We’re hoping there may be accommodations for students who cannot tolerate masks as well as other students. We have questions about our indoor athletes in the fall.”
Andrew Worthington, a Baltimore County Teacher was the lone person who showed up in support of the mask mandate.
“I’m tired as well, I’m a teacher, I know all our students are tired,” Worthington said. “I saw them in the classroom. I know these families are frustrated too, I’m not here to antagonize them, I’m not here to pretend to know what they are dealing with.”
He says he was there because he cares about his kids and doesn’t want to see school get shutdown and go virtual again.
“All of our students 12 and under can’t get vaccinated right now,” said Worhtington. “Masks are the only things that are going to protect them right now, and protect a spread because god forbid a school has to get shut down because a lot of kids get a case or something like that.”
Karen Burgess and her daughter Sophia came out because they believe masks make it difficult to learn.
“Our children and our parents should have a choice if our children have to wear the masks,” Burgess said.
Sophia said it’s hard to hear people talking with masks on.
“I don’t like masks because they are hot, they are sweaty and horrible,” Sophia said.
The first day of school is the week before Labor Day in Baltimore County this year.
It’s important to note that parents did have the option to sign up for virtual learning.
In Baltimore County around 3,400 have signed up for programs so far.
This was the first time in a long time a few people were allowed to come inside for public comment.
We were not allowed in.
For a complete in focus look at this issue with responses from the school board and a health expert from Johns Hopkins click here.