Calvert: What's the Off Ramp for School Masks?

Curry Says It's Up to the State

Stock photo. Stock photo.

HOLLYWOOD, Md. (Feb. 17, 2022)—Gov. Larry Hogan last week recommended the removal of the mask mandate for schools. And on Feb. 14 he announced that the mask mandate for state offices would be lifted next week.

So, that begs the question. When will the mask mandate be lifted for Calvert County Public Schools? Superintendent of Schools Dr. Daniel Curry supplied the answer at the Feb. 10 school board meeting.

"I've heard from a number of folks this week. I've pointed out to them that we are presently under a state mask mandate from the State Board of Education, and it's endorsed by the General Assembly of Maryland too. We do understand that the governor asked the state board to review that and close it out, but we will still be under the state mask mandate until that time. The initial mask mandate from the state was for 180 days. And, if they choose to shorten it, we will then have no doubt a local decision to make. And we'll review the data at that time," he said.

The mandate continues to be controversial. During the public comment section of the meeting, parent Alicia Mayer said, "At this point, it's a joke and it's embarrassing that we are acting like they're actually making a difference. Just the other day, my kindergartner told me a classmate spit in another classmate's face; they're five and six years old. They didn't know what they were doing. The mask he probably pulled right back up after he did it; a whole lot of good, I guess."

She added, "I also found out that the high school basketball team is able to unmask while on the court while they're heavily breathing in each other's faces. But when they get to the bench, they have to mask up. That is probably one of the most asinine rules I have heard in the last two years. Make it make sense."

Mayer noted, "Thousands of people can attend sporting events or music events while being unasked around complete strangers. Yet, our children who are currently supposed to be learning how to interact and making friends and learning social skills, have to have a majority of their face covered all day and need to keep their distance while playing with each other."

She asked, "Explain to me how my three-year-old could be at the community center event yesterday in this county with 30 plus kids also at the same age, unvaccinated obviously, and their parents unmasked, but his brother has to wear one for seven hours a day? As an adult, I have a difficult time wearing a mask for an hour without taking a break.

"This is just ridiculous."

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