All summer long Governor Baker said that he would leave it up to individual school districts as to whether or not they would mandate masking of children in schools or allow parental choice. I would’ve preferred real leadership like that of Ron DeSantis in Florida, who isn’t allowing any districts to mandate masking, but at least with Baker’s policy many parents had hope. Based off of Baker’s promise, parents across the state have been mobilizing at School Committee meeting to oppose mandatory masking of children, but thanks to Baker’s cowardice it was all for nothing, as he prevented school districts from making their own decisions today. It was the reasoning that was especially Orwellian though.
Education Commissioner Jeffrey C. Riley will ask the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education to grant him authority to mandate masks for all public K-12 students, educators, and staff through October 1 to ensure schools fully reopen safely and to provide time for more students and educators to get vaccinated. After October 1, the commissioner’s policy would allow middle and high schools to lift the mask mandate for vaccinated students and staff only if the school meets a certain vaccination rate – at least 80 percent of students and staff in a school building are vaccinated. Unvaccinated students and staff would still be required to wear masks.
The mandate would include exceptions for students who cannot wear a mask due to medical conditions or behavioral needs. The Commissioner will revisit the mandate in the near future to revise it as warranted by public health data. The purpose of the policy is to encourage higher vaccination rates among students and staff and to implement a uniform policy for all schools to begin the year.
“While Massachusetts leads the nation in vaccination rates, we are seeing a recent rise in COVID-19 cases because we still need more people to get vaccinated. This step will increase vaccinations among our students and school staff and ensure that we have a safe school reopening,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “Vaccinations are the best way to keep everyone in the Commonwealth safe, and we will continue to work with school districts to offer vaccination clinics at schools across the Commonwealth.”
“Our goal remains to get as many people as possible vaccinated,” said Lt. Governor Karyn Polito. “We hope that by instituting vaccine benchmarks among school populations we will create a real incentive for students and staff to get vaccinated so they can remove their masks.”
“The vaccination rates among young people in Massachusetts are among the highest in the nation, with 65 percent of 12-15-year-olds vaccinated, but we still need to do more to make sure our young people and educators are protected from COVID-19,” said Education Secretary James Peyser. “Instituting universal masking mandates to further encourage vaccination rates among everyone in our schools is one measure we can take now.”
All that protesting for nothing. I was pretty convinced we were going to get no mask mandate in the Wachusett Schools, but now that’s not even our option. Gutless School Committees around the state who haven’t made a decision get a free pass now that the decision is no longer up to them.
This is nothing more than coercing children to inject a vaccine into their body in order to protect them from a virus that has yet to kill a single child in Massachusetts. Massachusetts is one of the most vaccinated states in the country. People here are no longer dying from COVID as a result. The Delta variant is even less lethal, especially to children, according to today’s Boston Globe.
The variant was the whole cause of the recent panic, because fearmongers insisted it was more deadly for children. That was a lie, but it paid off.
In our district the high school has already reached the 80% threshold, which they’ve arbitrarily decided is the magic number needed to make sure the vaccinated teachers are “safe.” After that they’re free to take their masks off, even though every other place in town no longer requires a mask.
This means that every elementary school will have a mask mandate until a vaccine is developed, since none exists for kids under 12. After that you will have the choice – inject an experimental vaccine into your child’s body in order to protect them for a virus that isn’t a threat to them, or wear a mask forever.
At this point there’s really only one option – tell your kid not to wear a mask. They have to be the leaders here. Challenge your school’s principal to suspend your children for not wearing a mask. Email them ahead of time and inform them that your children will not be wearing a mask and ask what the punishment will be. They may not even have the authority to punish them at all, but if they do no school would ever want to suspend dozens of kids who flat out refused.
I am hereby offering $50 to the first student in Massachusetts who gets suspended for not wearing a mask in school. Others have already donated $50 bounties as well for the next kids after that. This is what John Lewis called “good trouble.” There needs to be mass disobedience of this unjust law. They are trying to force you to inject a vaccine into your child that you don’t know much about. Your kid is fine now. COVID is not a threat to them. If it’s a threat to you then get the vaccine, but it’s not to them.
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