Some parents upset over Longmeadow High School mask policy | News

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Longmeadow’s high school has lifted the mask mandate after meeting the state’s vaccination threshold, but some local parents are speaking out, saying this change in policy is causing their unvaccinated students to feel discriminated against.







LONGMEADOW, MA (WGGB/WSHM) — Longmeadow’s high school has lifted the mask mandate after meeting the state’s vaccination threshold, but some local parents are speaking out, saying this change in policy is causing their unvaccinated students to feel discriminated against.

We spoke to the mom of an unvaccinated tenth grader. She told us her daughter has felt polarized in the classroom and has faced disciplinary action for taking her mask off.

This week, vaccinated students, staff, and teachers at Longmeadow High School were allowed to be unmasked for the first time amid the COVID-19 pandemic because the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) permits schools that have a vaccination rate of over 80-percent to lift the mask requirement.

We reached out to Longmeadow Public Schools and the superintendent told Western Mass News that the high school entered this new trial phase on Monday, December 6 and it will run through Wednesday, December 22.

School officials told us 37-percent of students will continue to wear masks either because they are unvaccinated or because they have not received permission. Among that unvaccinated percentage is Katie Hastings’ tenth grade daughter.

“This policy is highly discriminatory and is not based on science. It is a fact, not an opinion, that vaccinated individuals can catch and spread COVID. This has been acknowledged by the CDC and we see this in case reportings and hospitalizations,” Hastings said.

Hastings told Western Mass News that her daughter has felt discriminated against in the classroom for wanting a choice to mask up or not and has faced disciplinary action.

“She sits in her classroom, when all of her friends is unmasked, and she’s masked. She’s attempted to pull her mask below her desk. She has been given two detentions and has been told if she continues in this way, she will be suspended,” Hastings added.

Hastings is calling for unvaccinated students to have an option.

“What I would like to see happen is an honor system. If you feel you need to protect yourself, then wear the mask. If you feel you are safe, then you should have the option to not wear your mask,” Hastings explained.

We reached out to DESE regarding Hastings’ request. We were directed to their mask requirement policy that said, in part:

“In alignment with statewide guidance, unvaccinated students and staff would be required to continue wearing masks.”





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