Change in mask policy has some Huntsville City Schools parents looking to leave

'We have no options, really,' said Dozier. 'You’ve given us a week to make these decisions.'

Posted: Jul 27, 2021 6:22 PM
Updated: Jul 28, 2021 12:21 PM

Kailey Dozier said she loves Goldsmith-Shiffman Elementary school, so making the decision to send her son to private school wasn't an easy one. 

Some Huntsville City Schools parents are looking at another option for their child's education, following the school board's decision to make masks mandatory for those 2-years-old and up. 

"My kid is so nervous about going to school anyways. We’re going to a big school. There are about 1,000 kids at Goldsmith and it’s a wonderful school, but then you add in the mask and he’s just a nervous wreck," said Dozier. 

Dozier isn't alone in taking her son out of the school district. She said other moms have been discussing home-schooling their children. 

"They're going to hire somebody and have these groups of homeschooled children," said Dozier. "Which I think is a great idea and that may have been the route we took if we had time to really plan this." 

Dozier said parents were blindsided by the school board's decision.

On July 1, parents were advised that masking would be optional. Now, with days left to the first day of school, the masking policy has changed. 

"We have no options, really," said Dozier. "You’ve given us a week to make these decisions."

She said children and their parents thought they'd have the choice to wear a mask or not. Parents on two sides of the coin, for masks or against them. 

Michele Watkins is on the Huntsville City Schools board of education. On Monday night, she publicly responded to the emails she's received from aggravated parents. 

In the Facebook post, Watkins said, "I respect your opinions but at the same time, I want you to respect that other people want to be safe." 

With parents in distress over the new guidance, Dozier said there may be disruption on the first day of school. 

"I do think they’re going to get a lot of push back," said Dozier. "I think you’re going to get plenty of parents who say I'm not sending them with a mask, and if they tell you to put one on, you say no."

Dozier said eventually she would love to place her kindergartner back in Huntsville City Schools. Her second grader will still attend Goldsmith-Schiffman Elementary School. Her kindergartener doesn't want to wear a mask and it's not something Dozier said she is going to make him do.

She also said that parents are getting frustrated with CDC guidance changing so frequently. On Tuesday, the CDC reversed guidance for vaccinated individuals. Now, it's recommending everyone in areas where coronavirus cases are increase to wear a mask in some indoor spaces. 

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