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Parents react to the Lafayette Parish School Board's decision to make masks optional

Masks could be optional for Lafayette parish students once the statewide mandate ends.

Posted: Oct 7, 2021 10:49 PM
Updated: Oct 8, 2021 1:58 PM

LAFAYETTE, LA (KADN)-Masks could be optional for Lafayette parish students once the statewide mandate ends.

The Lafayette Parish School Board voted in a meeting last night, that masks will be optional for all students and employees once the statewide mandate is no longer in place.

This comes after the district’s Learn Lafayette plan required all LPSS employees and students to wear face coverings on campus.

Parents of LPSS students are on both sides of the fence when it comes to this. Some aren’t happy with it while others think masks should have always been a parent's choice.

“We're all about mask, mask, mask and okay, some people are against them and some people for them. But when do the masks need to come off? When do we need to stop? You have kids that have need to see disabilities and they need to see you have kids with asthma you have kids with medical conditions,” Tamara Spears, a parent, said.

Spears believes that this decision is long overdue, especially since her child once became overheated when wearing his mask during recess.

“If the mask is so important to the point that we're putting kids in the hospital due to heat exhaustion and heatstroke, it absolutely needs to be an option,” she said.

The mother thinks that not only should mask mandate rules be reconsidered but so should other COVID-19 protocols, such as kids being six feet apart.

“They are asked to be spaced six feet apart due to COVID and the classrooms aren't big enough to sit at their desk and be six feet apart so, in order to have the kids eat, they put them on the floor. The floor is disgusting,” she said.

Farren Ogwin, another parent of an LPSS student, doesn’t think masks should be optional in schools, especially since her daughter is immunocompromised.

“It’s making me want to pull my daughter out of school again, to be honest, just because I'm scared of that like I'm really terrified of that virus I've known people that had it very severe in a hospital even people that died from it,” she said.

According to Ogwin, her daughter has no problem wearing her mask, but she fears if the mandate is loosened in schools, it may have a bad influence on her.

“If she goes to school and no other kids are wearing masks, or having her be in a situation and feel like ‘okay, if they’re not wearing a mask and then I shouldn’t’ and want to take it down just to kind of fit in with everyone... but then coming home worrying if she's going to have that bringing that home and bringing it passing it on to everyone else and just her, herself having it, especially with kids dying I'm very terrified of it,” Ogwin said.

The mother encourages other parents to still send their kids to school with their masks off because no child should suffer from the virus.

“If your child comes home with COVID and they're struggling to breathe. How would you feel as a parent, knowing that you can't give your child the help that they need?” she said.

Gov. John bel Edwards' statewide mask mandate remains in place until at least October 27 when his latest order expires.

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