Serving Franklin County, WA

Parents reject idea of masking students

CONNELL — A majority of parents in the North Franklin School District say they will not send their send their children to school if they are required to wear a mask this coming fall.

According to a School District survey, 78% opposed mandatory face coverings.

The survey, conducted last month, was designed to garner parental input into the decision-making process for education in the wake of the Wuhan coronavirus pandemic and Gov. Jay Inslee’s quarantine orders.

And it came after state Superintendent of Public Instruction Chris Reykdal unveiled coronavirus-related requirements for reopening.

Those requirements include keeping students at least six feet apart, requiring masks on all students and employees, restrictions of assemblies and field trips, prohibitions on sharing supplies, serving prepackaged meals at students’ desks, among other mandates.

Nearly 300 people responded to the survey.

In addition to the rejection of masking students, the survey showed parents are concerned about academic performance.

In other survey results:

87% of parents were concerned the district wouldn’t be able to provide the basic needs of students in a home-based curriculum.

67% of parents said they lack a viable Internet service or computers for a home-based curriculum.

The School District is working on a 2020-21 school year plan that will be unveiled before the School Board later this month.

District officials said the plan is expected to keep elementary pupils on campus daily, but have middle and high school students attend classes in-person on an every-other-day basis.

Nearby, Lind-Ritzville School District officials are looking at staggered times for classes.


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