Parents voice concern over the mask debate at Madison City Schools meeting

Parents showed up in mass numbers to the Madison City Schools board meeting to share their opinions on masking.

Posted: Aug 11, 2021 11:26 AM

Parents showed up in mass numbers to the Madison City Schools board meeting to share their opinions on masking.

This comes as school has been in session for just one week, and masks are currently mandatory for all students and staff.

The main message from Tuesday's two-hour meeting was everyone wants their kids to be safe and keep going to school. People just have differing opinions on how masks should come in to play.

One woman took the podium and said, "If they want to wear masks, let them! We don't want to, it's our decision!" Her statement was met with a round of applause from other parents in the audience.

Many parents echoed her sentiment and voiced their concerns over the universal mask mandate.

"It's a matter of compliance until somebody stands up and calls the people who are in charge," says Donnie George, a grandparent of a student in the school system.

Many unmasked parents crowded the lobby and had to watch the meeting from their phones since they weren't allowed inside the board room without a mask.

The main message from those opposed to the mandate was to make masks optional.

"This isn't about my child, this is about choice for every parent," says Courtney Kullush, a concerned parent.

However, not all parents are opposed to the mandate. Many thanked the school board for making the tough decision to require masks.

One parent took the podium and said, "for myself, I just wanted to say thank you to all of you for making the hard decisions that are truly in the best interest for all of our students."

Some parents at the meeting pointed to statistics that show masks are not as effective as they may seem. But the co-director of UAB and Children's of Alabama's Division of Pediatric Infectious Diseases says otherwise.

"We need to take a little piece of paper and put it in front of our face when we're inside. And that includes in school. It isn't that hard. It's just not that hard," says Dr. David Kimberlin from UAB.

Madison City Schools Superintendent Dr. Ed Nichols says he is going to wait until Labor Day to re-evaluate the mask mandate. He thanked all of the parents for coming out and speaking up for their children, no matter what their opinion on masking may be.

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