I’m writing this letter to plead with our school administration to lift the mask mandate. I’m doing so at some personal risk. Those who disagree with me will seek to punish me in whatever way possible. Punishing those we disagree with is really our ‘new normal’.
I have two elementary school children. One is in kindergarten and doesn’t know her teacher’s face. I hope that the Albany County School Board will lift the mask mandate in our schools. There is no data to support the continued requirement, as over time it has become abundantly clear that this virus doesn’t affect children in any statistically measurable way. Vaccines are available to any adult who wants them. Our active case rate is declining daily. Today, there are 35 active cases in Laramie. Yet we ask children to carry a burden that was never theirs. I have a very bright child, whom I believe has suffered academically and socially from being unable to communicate with her teachers and peers in a developmentally appropriate, reasonable manner.
In an email from Dr. Yenne, he explained that the mask mandate would stay in place until Albany County fell in the dark green zone according to the Wyoming Department of Health’s color-coding system that assigns severity levels to COVID transmission rates; or when the state health order lifts the requirement. To be labeled dark green, we must have no more that 8 cases per 100,00 people. That equates to three people in Albany County. Three people. Dr. Yenne and the Board want COVID to be eradicated before they take masks off children.
The Board/Superintendent also point to the CDC. We didn’t vote for anyone at the CDC. We did vote for a policy making body in the Albany County School District Board of Trustees. The Wyoming Department of Health also bears responsibility for the continued order that our administration uses to justify abdicating responsibility for their choices.
I doubt the Board will have the courage to request a variance this year, but next year is not yet a lost cause, unless we choose to say nothing
KATIE OGDEN, Laramie