Parents of NCSD students create a group to safely talk about masks in schools

Published: Apr. 22, 2021 at 5:55 PM CDT
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CASPER, Wyo. (Wyoming News Now) - A parent with kids who attend Natrona County School District created a Facebook group where people can safely share their opinion about student’s choice to wear a mask in school.

This group started Monday evening after the Natrona County Board of Trustees voted not to apply for a variance to get rid of the mask requirement in schools. “Since our voices weren’t heard at the original board meeting even with an overwhelming survey saying that we wanted one thing and didn’t get it,” said Jaime Bates, an admin, and creator of the NCSD Mask Variance Discussion.

Parents who are admins of this group don’t want to completely get rid of masks but give students the choice to wear them or not. “I think at this point with all of the studies going on and the level of invention that the districts and the county are at there should be no reason anybody should be masked unless they want to,” said Samantha Harkins,” NCSD Mask Variance Discussion admin.

Morgan McPhetres, another admin, created a survey in the group asking members to speak out and see change, like keeping their kids at home or sending them to school without a mask.

McPhetres said she’s keeping her six-year-old daughter home from school on Monday. Others will have different experiences. “For me, I will have a [kid] in each camp. One of my children wants to stay home on Monday to protest. I have another daughter who has been going without a mask at school and she’s going again on Monday. I have another daughter who does not like to push against the rules so she will be wearing a mask and attending school as normal,” Bates said.

Harkins said she homeschooled her kids this year so they wouldn’t have to wear masks in school. “I have them signed up to go next year so I am advocating for them to go next year. I hope there are no masks then,” Harkins said.

There are a lot of schools across the country that are still closed because of the pandemic and some that got rid of the mask mandate. McPhetres said she’s grateful her daughter gets to go in person but was hoping NCSD was going to get rid of it.

“Once the school district had taken a pool to request the variance I kind of felt like they were on board with it and they completely flipped. I’m a little shocked by that and I think that’s why parents are saying enough is enough,” McPhetres said.

Members of this group will be hosting a demonstration during the school board meeting Monday, April 26 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m at 970 N Glenn Road. We reached out to the Natrona County School District and didn’t get a reply back.

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