One California school district is bracing for a parental uprising as the debate over children wearing masks while at school heats up in Sacramento. In revolutionary style, parents who just last year protested vaccination requirements, have now turned their attention on the fad du jour – wear a face covering or be shamed back to the safety of your own home. Primarily targeted are the contagious and Typhoid Mary type little buggers who spread their germs hither and yon as they mouth breathe.
Angst and parental choice aside, new rules and regulations for the upcoming school year are rattling the nerves of moms and dads oh-so-ready to send their pride and joy back to the classroom. And although it’s plausible that anti-vax folks are bored and want another reason to charge up the bureaucratic hill, perhaps planting the flag on bodily autonomy and constitutional rights is the best bang for the imagery buck.
California Assembly Education Chair Patrick O’Donnell, a Democrat from Long Beach, chided the unruly in a recent interview building his imagery:
“Anti-vaxxers are morphing into the anti-anything movement. It’s clear to me that some of them are going to have their children show up to schools without masks to prove their point and poke the bear.”
O’Donnell also warned that schools might not have the authority to impose a face-covering edict.
What Do We Want? Freedom from Fear
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends cloth face coverings for children over two years old – or as they like to explain:
“Cloth face coverings are recommended as a simple barrier to help prevent respiratory droplets from traveling into the air and onto other people when the person wearing the cloth face-covering coughs, sneezes, talks, or raises their voice. This is called source control.”
Yet not everyone buys into “source control” methods or what happens to children subjected to face covering. On the opposite side of the argument is Christina Hildebrand, president and founder of A Voice for Choice – or in more simplistic terms, an anti-vaccine organization. Hildebrand brings the gun to a knife fight and claims members of her organization are concerned about detrimental social-emotional impacts masks may have on kids. The COVID-19 loudmouths would say instead “new normal:”
“Wearing an improperly worn cloth mask is likely to have little positive additional health impact on children vs. the detrimental social, emotional, and potential health issues of wearing a mask for 7-8 hours a day.”
Again, simplified, kids will not adapt and instead have a paranoid ingrained fear of every contagion identified. Placing a heavy emotional burden on children who have far less likelihood of contracting the virus gives parents ammunition to take on the Sacramento school system – and if they are successful, the movement will spread much like the bug in question.
When Do We Want It? Like, Yesterday
During a June meeting of the California legislature, where discussions were explicitly about school reopening plans, parents displayed their anger on homemade signs and clever t-shirts. Some read, “Make pharma liable again” and “I don’t want a flu shot!” Relatively well-behaved, but their point was made in spades: don’t you dare put a mask on my kid. And when it comes right down to it, little can be done outside of trying to shame parents by tossing words around like “privilege” and “selfish.”
And Charlie Wilson, president of the National School Boards Association, warns local and state law enforcement that their edicts, if met by parents who thumb collective noses, will win out over the long run. “I’ve yet to hear of a teacher in America who wants to be a mask enforcer. The whole notion that any school district can really enforce masks, or even social distancing, I think people are not being realistic.”
Well, Charlie, no one ever said the COVID-19 mask enforcers were living in any form of reality.
Read more from Sarah Cowgill.