Remove Mask Mandates for Seattle Public School Students

Remove Mask Mandates for Seattle Public School Students

March 2, 2022
Petition to
President of Seattle Education Association Jennifer Matter
This petition made change with 249 supporters!

Why this petition matters

Started by John Reynolds

A message to Jennifer Matter

President of Seattle Education Association (SEA).

The primary teachers union of Seattle Public Schools (SPS) 


Ms. Matter,

We’ll be blunt.  The time to remove mask mandates for Seattle Public School students is now.

The only conclusion we can reach that would explain your organization’s current stance and your choice to ignore federal, state and city guidelines as well as those issued by the WHO and indeed much of the rest of the world regarding masks for students, is that the SEA does not in fact care about the health or wellbeing of children.  We would like to quote from a recent article in the Atlantic:

“Imposing on millions of children an intervention that provides little discernible benefit, on the grounds that we have not yet gathered solid evidence of its negative effects, violates the most basic tenet of medicine: First, do no harm. The foundation of medical and public-health interventions should be that they work, not that we have insufficient evidence to say whether they are harmful. Continued mandatory masking of children in schools, especially now that most schoolchildren are eligible for vaccination, fails this test.”

We would like to remind you that you have an ethical and moral responsibility to place our communities’ children’s welfare above all else - always.  Simply put, looking after children is humankind’s primary directive and it is and has been a shared value the world over since the dawn of man. You are catastrophically failing at this basic task by insisting that our children continue to be subject to the developmental and social harm that you are willfully inflicting on them on a daily basis for absolutely no reason. We could argue the scientific evidence, but we know the SEA's position has absolutely nothing to do with science.  You should be ashamed of your actions.

Childhood suicides, depression, mental health disorders, drug abuse, self-harm and developmental problems have all dramatically increased for the Seattle student population due to the disruptions you have advocated.  Yet again our Seattle schoolchildren are forced to suffer when the rest of the US (and beyond) has moved on, as the SEA continues to play politics under the guise of safety and equity.   This is not about safety, and this is not about equity.  Masks do not give children a sense of security as you have claimed, they isolate them. How you can be blind to this obvious truth is utterly beyond us. Those children who do cite a sense of security are simply repeating what they hear from the adults around them.  You mention wanting to protect people who are immunocompromised or pregnant or under 5.  For a start, we should be clear that there is virtually no risk to healthy children under 5.  But what you fail to acknowledge is that all these individuals live in the community outside school – the community where universally, expert public health guidance is that masks are no longer needed.  For those who are genuinely at risk, it is their (or their parents’) responsibility to take the measures needed to remain safe.  You cannot set policy to accommodate the vast minority of people who are actually at risk.  By doing so you harm the vast majority of people.  There is no scenario in which this approach can be justified. 

Even when there is overwhelming evidence and data that masks are a net harm to children, your organization STILL insists that they be worn.   This needless and ridiculous practice needs to stop immediately.  Not at the end of this school year, and not on May 1st.

Furthermore, we implore you to summon the little courage you may have to resign your position, as it is plainly obvious you have neither the moral fortitude nor compassion to continue your duties.  The spiteful and contemptuous manner in which your organization is treating our children is simply abhorrent.

One last point for you to consider.  Although you will have to live forever with the choices you are now making, we regretfully suspect you will never fully comprehend the magnitude of harm for which SEA is responsible, and which tens of thousands of children will have to shoulder for years to come, and for some, perhaps the rest of their lives.  The damage has been done. The question you should be compelled to ask yourself is how much more damage do you wish history to judge you for.

Ms Matter, spend your time reading the articles, research papers and facts linked to below.  The gravity of your decision demands nothing less.


Seattle Public Schools Parents.


The Case Against Masks at School

The CDC’s Flawed Case for Wearing Masks in School

The Downsides of Masking Young Students Are Real

Climbing the Pandemic Failures Chart: Research on Masking Kids

COVID-19 Mitigation Practices and COVID-19 Rates in Schools: Report on Data from Florida, New York and Massachusetts

Household COVID-19 risk and in-person schooling (

Davidson and Williamson Counties, TN, Student and Community Comparisons

Tracy Høeg, MD, PhD

Data shows school mask policy in Alachua County has no impact on COVID-19 cases

Covid: Evidence on face masks in schools 'inconclusive'

Effect of face mask and noise on word recognition 
by children and adults

The impact of facemasks on emotion recognition, trust attribution and re-identification

Impact of Face Masks on Audiovisual Word Recognition in Young Children with Hearing Loss During the Covid-19 Pandemic

Masks Can Be Detrimental to Babies’ Speech and Language Development

Facial masks affect emotion recognition in the general population and individuals with autistic traits

Face masks reduce emotion-recognition accuracy and perceived closeness





This petition made change with 249 supporters!

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Decision Makers

  • Jennifer MatterPresident of Seattle Education Association