25 signatures reached
To: Storm Lake Community School District - Board of Education
Mask Mandate for All in the Storm Lake Community School District
This campaign has ended.
On Monday a federal judge made it so school districts in Iowa can mandate masks, at least temporarily. For the good of our community, we need a universal mask mandate for our school district now. This is necessary to slow the spread of COVID-19. Let's do this for:
-our healthcare workers
-our vulnerable community members.
Although vaccinated people are generally not getting severely ill with Covid-19, they are still spreading it, causing severe illness in others. This is why everyone, including the vaccinated, should be masking up!
Why is this important?
Dear Storm Lake Community School District Board and Superintendent:
We, the concerned community members, teachers, and parents of Storm Lake Community School District urge the SLCSD school board to mandate masks for ALL people in Storm Lake Community School District buildings and crowded outdoor spaces, regardless of vaccination status for the following reasons:
-The American Academy of Pediatrics and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend UNIVERSAL masking in schools.(1) (2)
-Since Iowa is a place of high coronavirus spread, as identified by the CDC (3), it is actually recommended that ALL people wear masks, regardless of vaccination status, in all indoor public settings as well as crowded outdoor settings. So, everyone should be masking, not just those at schools.
-There are teachers who are unvaccinated AND refusing to wear a mask. These teachers are endangering up to hundreds of students daily, as well as the family members of those students. If you ask everyone to mask, it is much easier for people to know if someone is not complying.
-Vaccinated people can get sick with Covid-19, and they can spread coronavirus at the same rate as unvaccinated people at the beginning of their illness according to the CDC: “For people infected with the Delta variant, similar amounts of viral genetic material have been found among both unvaccinated and fully vaccinated people. However, like prior variants, the amount of viral genetic material may go down faster in fully vaccinated people when compared to unvaccinated people. This means fully vaccinated people will likely spread the virus for less time than unvaccinated people.” (4)
-Some staff, especially the vaccinated, are getting minor symptoms of illness consistent with the symptoms of Covid-19, but believe it is “just a cold”, so they are not getting tested. They continue to go to work, potentially infecting people with Covid-19.
-Our district has been asking unvaccinated people to wear masks all school year, which means all children under the age of 12 should be masking. This is not what we are seeing; very few children are masking. We need more children masking to get this under control and to make school a safe place for all. Simply asking is not working. A mandate is what we need.
-This month we have had two reported Covid-19 deaths in our county, the first reported deaths in BV County since April. (5)
-Our healthcare providers in Storm Lake are urging children to wear masks in school. In an interview with local media, two local doctors noted that although we have beds at BVRMC, other ICUs are full enough that sometimes people have to wait to be transported for a higher level of care. If we mandate universal masking at our schools, that is a very real way to lessen the burden for our healthcare providers. (6)
Furthermore, we request that the school district follow the other recommendations as outlined in the American Academy of Pediatrics’ 2021 school guidelines, including mental health support, and testing resources. We should be spreading the word that BV County Public Health has free tests through Test Iowa.
We understand that many people have pandemic fatigue, and that some people would be upset by a mask mandate, but the board has said it stands by science. The board is doing a great job of supporting the cause to vaccinate. Public health officials are also recommending masking. We ask that the board would listen to science in all aspects of the pandemic, rather than picking and choosing.
In the August board meeting, the school board said their hands were tied due to the mask mandate ban. Well, the board’s hands have been at least momentarily untied. Please do what is BEST, not what is easiest, for our community, and mandate masks for all people at Storm Lake Community School District. After a federal judge blocked the mask mandate ban on Monday, September 13th, the district sent out an email stating they were seeking legal council, leading us to believe there will not be a timely decision. Two Iowa school districts have already announced they will be enforcing a mask mandate starting Wednesday, September 15th. If they can do it, so can we. We ask for a mask mandate vote to be made at the regular school board meeting on Wednesday, September 15th. Taking additional time to make this decision could cost us more lives in our community.
We don’t want to live the rest of our lives in masks. Somewhat soon, we are hopeful that vaccines will be available for children under 12, and hopefully then (or maybe even before then!) we will see cases decrease dramatically in our county, state, and country, and we can all move on with our lives! But, as long as we are legally able, and until deaths and hospitalizations of Covid-19 are no more common than those of influenza in a usual year, we ask that the Storm Lake Community School District mandate masks for all people in schools and outside where distancing of 6 feet is not being practiced.
Sincerely, and with great concern,
The people of Storm Lake Community School District
How it will be delivered
We will bring this petition to the school board's regular meeting on Wednesday, September 15th, at 6pm.