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Petition: No Mask Mandates in CCPS

**UPDATE: The original petition that was previously hosted on Change.org was taken down earlier today after approaching nearly 1000 signatures. Why? According to Change.org the petition violated “Community Guidelines”.

In other words, we were CENSORED. We were silenced for expressing our views. Views that were backed by data and facts, but were deemed to be “misinformation” by the tech tyrants and our opposition.

We were denied our 1st Amendment rights, and now we’re reclaiming them. Please sign our new petition below that’s now independently hosted on our website, and if you had signed our old petition at Change.org, please sign again!

We will NOT be silenced. We will NOT let big tech and our opposition stop us from protecting our children.**

No Mask Mandates in CCPS

Test

This petition is a counter petition to “Protect Our CCPS Students”, which demands that Carroll County schools mandate masks for all students.

We demand CCPS to NOT institute a mask mandate.

Based on all available data, we’ve known for a long time that kids are SAFE from COVID-19 and do not spread the disease at the rates of other age groups. Returning the the mask requirement for our students is not only unnecessary, it instills needless fear and creates an unhealthy learning environment, precisely the opposite of “protecting” our kids.

In Maryland, the epidemic is over. In our county there have been ZERO deaths linked to COVID-19 amongst school-aged children. Comparatively, there have been more deaths related to self-harm. Imposing masks will only exasperate the mental health concerns.

Though, for some, masking is only a minor inconvenience, there are harmful effects in leaving mask mandates in place. Masks may make it harder to breathe, particularly while exercising, and may discourage physical activity at a time when obesity rates in children are climbing (which ironically heightens their risk from the coronavirus and other diseases). Masking encumbers socialization as well as communication and speech development by blocking the visualization of mouth movements, obscuring facial expressions and muffling voices. Masking also heightens anxiety of children with autism and other sensory processing challenges. More generally, masks are uncomfortable for extended wear — why would we unnecessarily inflict that on our children?

Students have paid a hefty price to keep adults safe: learning loss, skyrocketing dropout rates and a youth mental health crisis that officials around the country have deemed a state of emergency. Despite the state’s recommendations, Maryland’s districts retain full discretion on masking in schools and may be reluctant to lift restrictions, especially those districts that were hesitant to reopen this past school year. They may also be awaiting official Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidance despite the agency’s sluggish and overly cautious approach to schools and a history of being influenced by the same groups calling to retain these unnecessary measures. County leaders must resist the temptation to substitute unjustified fear for good policy. They should follow the new statewide recommendations and lead the public with evidence-based policies that make masking optional.

Source: https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2021/06/24/maryland-schools-should-drop-all-mask-mandates/

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We are asking for the Board of Education to keep in place the current masking policy that empowers parents to decide whether to mask their children. This allows parents to choose based on their children’s medical history and risk exposure. It respects the parents role in deciding what’s best for their own children.

Below is the Maryland Department of Health’s revised Covid 19 guidelines giving our county the authority to establish mask policy: 

https://health.maryland.gov/phpa/Documents/07.23.2021%20MDH%20MSDE%20School%20Childcare%20Guidance%20FINAL.pdf?fbclid=IwAR3O34XDQ3zwLBmGIwu9mRGCIyI84NwUTueEObBdrhMCq6cxZIuDeSiey5U

Based on insufficient data regarding the COVID-19 delta variant, and scrutiny behind the singular case study used by the CDC to assess delta’s risk, it is premature to institute changes to mask policy or issue broader health safety directives.

We know from previous data provided by the CDC that children are not at high risk of serious illness or death, and that school environments are not super spreaders. This fact has also been confirmed by the CCPS Health Department Dashboard metrics.

Governor Larry Hogan has stated that over 75.8% of Marylanders over the age of 18 have received at least one dose of the Covid-19 vaccine. 92.4% of Marylanders over 65 have received at least one dose. The state of Maryland outpaces the national rate of 88.8%, ranking 6th in the nation. 

https://governor.maryland.gov/2021/07/15/vaccine-milestone-governor-hogan-announces-maryland-surpasses-7-million-total-vaccinations/

We request the BOE to consider this information when reviewing COVID prevention policies.