BERLIN – Whether children should have to wear masks next school year was discussed during a Board of Education meeting earlier this week,
About 15 parents, teachers, and students spoke during the Monday meeting. Other sent emails aiming to convince school officials to drop the mask requirement.
“While in school, we want our children to be awake, free of headaches and dizziness, breathing normally, and ready to learn,” said Pam Valdesi, a town resident of 23 years and a mother of a high school student.
Valdesi cited a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association last month, stating that schoolchildren who wear a mask inhale a higher level of carbon dioxide.
Barbara Szparkowski, who gives several masks to her three-year-old child attending special education preschool, said that by the end of the day, her child returns home with a “wet, disgusting” mask.
“I can’t put my kids through another year of these disgusting masks,” she said. “Please, don’t do this to our kids.”
Mary Kathryn LaRose, a lifelong public school teacher, believes that the damage masks have done to the kids for the past year “may not be repairable.”
“When I think of a five-year-old, one-quarter of their life was spent in a mask,” said LaRose. “I hope that children are as resilient as we hope they are and I hope they are going to get back to the joy of life, but if you keep the masks, I just don’t see that happening.”
Board members listened to the citizens and thanked them for their contributions. The board will discuss the mask policy and vote on the final 2021-22 school reopening plan in August.
The full recording of the Berlin Board of Education meeting on July 12, can be watched online at the BHSTV Broadcast YouTube channel.