HOMEWOOD, Ala. (WIAT)-This week the Alabama Department of Education announced individual school districts will make their own decision when it comes to mandating masks for students, teachers and staff returning to the classroom this fall.
Homewood City Schools announced how they proceed, informing parents and staff that masks would be option as school starts again.
This has caused concern among parents, who are now asking the district to reverse their decision.
“Combining our elementary school students not being able to be vaccinated with having to be in person and it’s a recipe for disaster, and in fact its negligence,” said Stephen Ingram, who has three children in the HCS system, one of whom is under 12 and not able to receive the vaccination.
“Our middle school students can still do virtual, our high school still can do virtual, but they’ve not giving us a choice for elementary school students-they said all elementary schools will have to be in person,” Ingram explained. He says that depending on such lenient policies for the health of his children is upsetting.
“We’re depending on policies that will protect our children, and the fact that we’re having to have this conversation again is infuriating,” said Stephen Ingram, parent inside the Homewood City Schools.
Sarah Danneman is another parent inside the Homewood School district who also has a child in elementary school not yet vaccinated. With masks optional, Denneman says she’s open to the idea of having separate classrooms for those who are masked and unmasked.
“People who are not capable of getting that vaccine, who are too young-we need to keep them safe,” said Danneman.
“If some parents are not willing to take this seriously, then we need to make it where all the parents who are willing to put the mask on their child can be in one class- that way if you’re concerned about it they can be all together,” said Denneman.
Ingram and Danneman have both voiced their concerns to school administrators, asking them to revisit the reopening plans. CBS 42 also reached out to the district about how they will be addressing parents’ concerns and received the following statement:
“Homewood city schools have been told that ADPH (Alabama Department of Public Health) will be releasing the public school toolkit soon. Our system will review the toolkit and current health trends in our community, and make adjustments as needed.” – Merrick Wilson, Communication Director, Homewood City Schools.”
Facebook pages and petitions in favor of face masks for Homewood City School’s upcoming school year are also growing in interest.