Sunday, September 19, 2021

Denton ISD families plan student sit-out over mask policy

A grassroots group of parents who favor a universal mask mandate for Denton ISD schools will participate in a Sit-Out on Friday to protest the current policy that makes masks optional.

Denton Schools Sit-Out believes the lack of a mask mandate for DISD students, teachers and staff poses a clear threat to the health and safety of their children, especially since those who are under age 12 are currently ineligible to receive a vaccine, according to a news release.

“It is my child’s right to attend a safe and healthy school for their education,” said Evelyn Tarin-Moreno. “It is disheartening for us parents to be forced into this situation. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that everyone in schools wear masks so that schools can more safely resume in-person instruction.”

There is an ongoing legal and political battle over Gov. Greg Abbott’s ban on municipalities and school districts from requiring masks. Some entities, including the city of Denton, have tried to defy Abbott’s ban. Denton ISD recently reaffirmed its mask-optional policy.

The concerned DISD parents are alarmed about the surge in pediatric COVID cases and the subsequent treatment of more children in intensive care units. On Aug. 12, the Dallas-Fort Worth Hospital Council announced that there are “no available pediatric ICU beds in North Texas.”

“We have to do this sit-out to get their attention,” said DISD parent Andrew Nelson. “We have attended meetings, written letters, sent emails and this is our last resort. We feel we are not being heard.”

Denton Schools Sit-Out faces outspoken opposition from many other parents and community members who believe in personal choice and say parents should have the right to choose whether to have their child wear a mask or not.

Mark Smith
Mark Smith is the Digital Editor of The Cross Timbers Gazette.

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