Enforce a Mask-Mandatory Policy in the Cedarburg School District

This petition made change with 1,455 supporters!

At the time of this petition, over 138k Americans have died from COVID-19, and upwards of 40k Wisconsinites have come down with the virus. This pandemic has forced millions of American students out of our schools, halting educational progress and creating very real issues for the families of essential workers, including the struggle to find affordable and safe child care. Thus, it is in the interest of all Cedarburg students and families to go back to school, in-person, for the 2020-2021 school year. However, current plans to reopen our district will fail in practice, as they are insufficient in meeting one of the simplest and most effective ways to control COVID-19 spread: mask-mandatory policy. 

Masks are a scientifically-tested and proven method of controlling COVID-19 spread, but only when they are used by all in a given environment:

CDC Director Dr. Robert R. Redfield: “Cloth face coverings are one of the most powerful weapons we have to slow and stop the spread of the virus – particularly when used universally within a community setting. All Americans have a responsibility to protect themselves, their families, and their communities.”

Knowing that only a small number of student COVID-19 cases will require hundreds of students to remain home for several weeks, requiring masks is the only option which can be effective to prolong the amount of time students will be able to stay in their school this year. Failing to require masks will allow rampant spread of the virus, likely closing our schools soon after they reopen, a choice which will disadvantage many Cedarburg families and set our students farther behind in their education. Additionally, instruments which our district has already spent taxpayer dollars on for its students’ protection, such as plexiglass shields, are rendered useless when students interact- as they are bound to- in hallways, bathrooms, and other areas of school life which can not be consistently and effectively social-distanced. 

With the above in consideration, we would like to note the importance of school administration, not teachers, being the authority on enforcing this mask-mandatory policy. Teachers should not be expected to chastise students who make the decision to forego their mask. This would be a never ending battle for teachers who are already busy dedicating their time to providing Cedarburg students with the excellent education this district provides. Rather, students who choose not to wear masks should be sent to the office, and- if they still decide not to put on their mask- sent home for the day. This would be consistent with other dress code policies where, if a student does not change her clothes, she is sent home. Administration has been able to discipline students in the past for rules as trivial as shorts length and tank-top strap width, thus it carries that they should be equipped to handle violations which endanger the lives of Cedarburg students, teachers, families, and community members. 

It is unfair to ask students to learn in an environment that is hostile for them and which will ultimately fail them in their right to learn at school, among their friends, and with their beloved teachers. Students shouldn’t have to risk their lives to have access to an education.

This petition was created by Ava R. and Julia G. from the CHS class of 2021.

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