Parents share anger, support for mask guidance in District 211

At Thursday night's board meeting, Palatine-Schaumburg High School District 211 chose to recommend, not require, masks for unvaccinated students when school starts next month - and parents in the district have lots to say about it.

Many took to social media to share their support or dismay. It was a hot topic in two Facebook groups run by the Daily Herald - Everything Schaumburg and Everything Palatine.

"I think it's shortsighted," said John Laprise of Palatine. "Unvaccinated people like K-12 students are highly vulnerable to the very infectious COVID Delta variant. Masks reduce risk. It's not a question of if there will be an outbreak but when and how many suffer."

But other parents are happy with District 211's decision.

"This is great news! Let people make there own choices. Vax if you choose, mask if you choose," Colette Melchiorre said on the Everything Schaumburg Facebook page.

People also weighed in on the Daily Herald Facebook page with reaction to District 211's policy, saying they hope other districts follow suit.

"About time," said Kelli Mehl of Vernon Hills. And Brad Heath showed his support by commenting with, "Great job by all these school districts on this! I hope ours decides the same."

Other issues raised in the comments include COVID-19 testing for students, how elementary feeder districts will handle masks, and masks on buses. While District 211 made masks optional in its buildings, masks on buses are mandatory.

"What's the difference between the bus or a classroom for wearing masks?" asked GT Gio in the Schaumburg group. "I believe still the same, since kids are to (sic) close to each other, this doesn't make sense to me."

And some commenters are worried about the recent rise in COVID-19 cases and the impact that will have on students once they return to the classroom - some possibly unvaccinated without masks.

"Anyone not vaccinated should wear a mask," said Linda Weiszmann of Schaumburg. "This has been a Pandemic people not the flu. It will not go away until everyone is vaccinated. Since young children can't be vaccinated they must wear masks indoors. This should never be under debate."

And some are taking a wait-and-see approach, knowing that guidance and mandates can quickly change as COVID-19 cases rise and fall.

"Interested to see how this school year goes," said Melissa Harder of Schaumburg. "Good news is that we have seen how flexible the schools and students have been so if things go worse again they can always enforce stronger protocols."

District 211 recommends masks for unvaccinated students

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