Health

Parents take kids out from schools after Superintendant removes mitigation guidelines

Several parents are pulling their kids out of school due to what they consider to be ‘lax’ COVID-19 guidelines.

Mothers and fathers in Cobb County, Georgia, say schools are going against mask recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and there is no social distancing in classrooms or cafeterias.  

‘Every day, there’s a chaotic event – entire grades sent home,’ Jessica Zeigler, who has decided to remove her three children, including two with health issues, out of public county schools, told CNN.

‘Every day seems like a series of terrible decisions that we have to make.’ 

Another parent, Sara Cavorley, took all of her five kids, including a 13-year-old who fended of leukemia as a younger child, out of school this week.

‘I shouldn’t have to choose between my children’s life and school. That’s a no-brainer. I choose my kids,’ she said.

Schools have begun reopening in the U.S. with most states leaving it up to local schools to decide whether to require masks. Pictured: A student raises her hand in a classroom at Tussahaw Elementary school in McDonough, Georgia

Pictured: Pro-mask wearing demonstrators stage a protest at the Cobb County School Board Headquarters Thursday

Parents say in the spring, the county school district was taking precautions such as masks, social distancing and plexiglass dividers.  

But, after they decided to bring their children to the classroom, school leaders retracting on the protocols.

Parents told CNN they are frustrated, as a result of the county’s lack of transparency. 

Those who are in favor of masks plan to protest before the Cobb County Board of Education’s monthly meeting on Thursday. 

To make things worse, the meeting’s agenda doesn’t mention anything on talks about Covid-19 protocols.

Last week, a demonstration, which took place the day after East Side Elementary’s sent its entire fifth-grade class home due to a surge in Covid-19 cases.

‘I feel like they’re catering to a minority because they’re louder and they’re meaner and they’re not rational,’ Amber O’Bot told CNN.

O’Bot said she is considering to keep her 5-year-old at home until next year to start kindergarten unless the county ass more guidelines.

Pictured: Pro-mask and non-mask wearing demonstrators face off at the Cobb County School Board Headquarters in Marietta, Georgia

As of last week, Cobb County disclosed 551 positive results in its schools. 

CNN reported that East Cobb Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine informed parents on Tuesday that it had reached a breaking point, with a ‘dramatic rise in pediatric infections.’ 

The practice is cancelling wellness checks in the next couple of weeks to focus on sick children, its letter to parents revealed.

More than 88,000 cases have been reported in Cobb County and 1,144 deaths since the start of the pandemic, according to Johns Hopkins University.

Almost every hospital bed is taken and most intensive care unit are filled up in the Cobb County region, northwest of Atlanta.

Six out of the seven members at Cobb County’s school district did not respond to CNN’s request for comment, including Superintendent Chris Ragsdale. 

However, Vice Chairman David Banks, sent an email to the news network, which began with: ‘Are masks useless?’ 

Like most states in the country, Georgia has seen it’s number of COVID-19 cases rise since Independence Day celebrations on July 4 to more than 9,000 per day

‘Those pushing the use of masks DO NOT KNOW what they are talking about,’ the email said claiming mask don’t prevent the virus from spreading.  

The email ends with sources mentioned as a ‘Summary from official publications of Mask Facts by Emery Leonard-July 23,2020,’ along with a ‘study’ in an online publication that only consist of tweets posted by a Texas entrepreneur in 2020.

According to CNN, one mother confronted Banks about his series of emails, saying he was sharing debunked information.

She described it as ‘deeply disturbing, terrifying and embarrassing’ that he occupies a job position involving to make decisions concerning her children. 

‘Nothing has been debunked. This is in your head! Be safe,’ Banks replied with no elaboration.

More parents also shared emails sent by Banks citing Emery L. as the main source. 

Banks, a retired information technology consultant, attached long-discredited videos from doctors with arguable credentials and makes a series of deplorable false claims. 

Parents say they’re irked but not surprised by Banks’ action. 

He has already come under fire before for dubious claims, including labelling COVID-19 as the ‘China virus’ and telling local media he was against a board resolution on systemic racism. 

According to a letter to Superintended Ragsdale and the Cobb County school signed by more than 200 doctors asking the district to re-impose a mask mandate, 493 cases per 100,000 have been recorded on August 13. 

Five days later, it was 694 per 100,000, according to the county health department.

COVID-19 cases in Cobb County continued to surge this week due to the Delta variant. The infection rate has peaked to 63 percent as of August 6.’

‘It’s unabated and it’s just rolling along right now,’ Dr Janet Memark, District Health Director of Cobb & Douglas Public Health, told CNN.

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