Leave masking choice to parents

Published 4:46 pm Tuesday, February 1, 2022

Editor, The Smithfield Times:

I’ll start off by saying that I understand why someone who feels safer in a mask would support the Isle of Wight County School Board’s decision to continue the mask mandate. You believe the board’s decision is going to keep everyone safe.

I ask you this one question: What happens when the board’s decision doesn’t align with your belief? Currently, it’s easy; you would have chosen to stay masked anyway. Plus, you get the added benefit of forcing every kid in IW public schools to also wear one, especially since kids are so resilient and can handle nine hours of discomfort per day. Should make YOU feel safe!

Subscribe to our free email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

So looking ahead to the future: What if that same board banned mask wearing? 100% banned it. Then said, “They are harmful to kids, don’t actually work, make the kids uncomfortable all day, impede learning, make them touch their faces, causing more COVID outbreaks, etc.”

So the board decides that you do not get to choose to send your child to school in a mask. How would you feel? Would it be an overstep then? The same parents wanting to choose for their child would fight for your right to choose as well. If they wouldn’t, they are absolutely hypocritical.

It is the exact same thing the School Board is doing right now: taking the choice away from the parent to decide what’s best for the child. Voting against the choice is voting for the ability for them to choose against your wishes later.

I do not know anyone on the board personally, I would not trust any one of them to know exactly what is best for MY child. You shouldn’t either. Even if you know someone and feel they have your best interest in mind, what happens during election time? I guarantee you it looks much different after that, so you still want the board who has a majority of people who you don’t agree with to still hold all the control of your child?

Everyone I know who wants the mask mandate lifted just wants to choose for their child. They also want you to be able to choose for yours. There is only one logical outcome. Lift the mandate and agree that you should never have to give away the right to choose for your child.


Dustin Rand