I was relieved that the Buncombe County Board of Education was receptive to parents’ pleas and called an emergency meeting to unanimously vote down the mask mandate in our schools, starting Feb. 28. This follows the county data trending downward, as well as common sense to leave medical decisions between parents and doctors.
My son is a student at Evergreen Community Charter school. Although the school and leadership are wonderful and forward-thinking in many ways, I am highly disappointed that they are not following the advice of the county. Rather than calling an inconvenient emergency board meeting to immediately vote down the mandatory mask mandate, they have decided to postpone their vote until March 17 and continue to require masking indoors at all times.
While watching the State of the Union address, I noticed that our commander in chief (age 79) and madam speaker of the house (age 81) were maskless, handshaking, and hugging and kissing the attendees. This blatant hypocrisy sends the wrong message to our students (future leaders) who are still being forced to wear masks in school. At what point do we stand up for the rights of the least vulnerable population of children and let their smiling faces shine?
As an active school volunteer, I have seen how masks distract from the school environment, cause prepubescent acne, make parents choose between masks or glasses, and create social, emotional and behavioral problems (especially for some children with intellectual and developmental disabilities). Masks should absolutely be the choice of parents, and anything less is a total overreach of power and politics. Charter schools should be required to follow public health recommendations of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, county, governor and president of the USA. Delaying this decision is antithetical to their focus on equity, respect and choice. Let the masks go and get back to what’s important — education.
— Cristal Fox
Editor’s note: Xpress reached out to Evergreen Community Charter School with a summary of the letter writer’s points and received the following response from Executive Director Susan Mertz: “Evergreen’s Board of Directors is taking into consideration the opinions of those asking for an earlier vote than is currently scheduled. The school is actively seeking opinions of stakeholders within our community. As is stated in our mission, ‘We value the voice of every member of our community.’”