Parents, teachers divided over Fayette County Public Schools mask mandate

Several parents and teachers took over the school board meeting during the public comment session,  saying the choice to mask-up children should be left up to them , and not the district..
Masks

LEXINGTON, Ky (WTVQ)- Several area school districts dropped mask mandates Monday as COVID-19 numbers continue to trend down in Kentucky. But Fayette County Public Schools is not one of them.

Several parents and teachers took over the school board meeting during the public comment session,  saying the choice to mask-up children should be left up to them , and not the district..

Others, however, believe the school board is doing what is best to keep students and staff safe.

“We feel like this board is ignoring the will of the parents,” said parent Matthew Vied. “We know that there are teachers in the district that are wanting restrictions to be removed. We know that there are students that are wanting restrictions to be removed.”

Vied is part of a Facebook group called “Fayette County Kids Matter.” He also has two elementary school students in the school system.
The group gathered ahead of the board meeting Monday night with signs in hand, wanting their voices heard.

“We deserve to hear from all five board members and from Dr. Liggins why specifically they feel that it’s not safe to remove their masks in school,” Vied said. “They continually point to recommendations from other departments that are not in charge of public education in Lexington.”

On the other side, teacher Laura Hartke says the board is listening to the right voices.

“Whatever we can do to make that happen,” Hartke said. “A simple piece of clothe over our face to keep us safe to keep us safe in a pandemic, while our numbers are high, its important because we need to be in person. I don’t wanna ever have to go over a camera to teach again.”

For now, the district doesn’t plan to drop masking, at least not yet.

“You see all these counties around us that are saying ‘we’re gonna leave it up to the parents, you can choose if you wanna wear masks.'” said parent Jeff Lowe. “To us, I think there’s a group of parents throughout this whole process that’s wanted to make sure our voice is heard, whether that’s about kids being in NTI or now, it’s time.”

“This has been probably one of the hardest school years of our life and we have been trying our best to protect students and keep schools open because that’s really where we wanna be,” Hartke said.

Scott, Harrison, Montgomery and Nicholas counties have all dropped mask mandates, effective Monday.

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