Optional Masking for Students in the Las Vegas Diocese

Optional Masking for Students in the Las Vegas Diocese

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Kayla Delgado started this petition to The Roman Catholic Diocese of Las Vegas

When the Local Governor Removes the current state mandate we are requesting the school to follow. Previously when the mask mandate was dropped, our school continued to mask. 

Many parts of the U.S. issued mask mandates in 2020 when COVID-19 was new and poorly understood. It was sensible to take maximum precautions in a chaotic and frightening situation; many thought it a small sacrifice to make while scientists toiled to gain a greater understanding of the virus and to develop vaccines. But two years later we know much more about the virus and how to stop it, including abundant evidence showing the lack of efficacy of some of these measures (cleaning surfaces, masking in schools, etc.).

There is no significant evidence that the kind of masking (i.e. non-medical) that is common in schools is worth it. An Arizona study frequently cited by CDC director Rochelle Walensky as evidence for continued masking in schools has been thoroughly dismantled. More and more experts have concluded that the evidence for masks in schools doesn’t hold up to scrutiny. There are several studies that show a minimal reduction in COVID-19 transmission with masks in schools, but the results were not statistically significant. Moreover, most of these studies do not account for Covid-19 vaccinations in adults and none of them take into account vaccinated children. According to data from the Kaiser Family Foundation, 18.8% of children in the 5-11 age group are fully vaccinated, and 28.1% have received one dose. In vaccinated children, the flu poses more danger than COVID-19.

With all of the teachers in our Diocese vaccinated and a number of students also vaccinated, we are hoping we can begin the process of ending masking for our children. Many people argue that masking is a small inconvenience for the greater good. However, masking kids is not a damage free intervention. It negatively affects learning and causes significant social and emotional harm. Masking impairs verbal and non-verbal communication between teachers and students, limits facial identification and has occasional physical side effects. Visualization of the entire face is of crucial importance to social, emotional, and speech development.

Masking in schools was intended to be temporary, and there needs to be an exit ramp from these policies. Children have been suffering from mask effects for two years, and enough is enough. At this point, teachers and other adults have all had the opportunity to be vaccinated, and if they feel uncomfortable or are at higher risk, they can wear a mask. Likewise, if parents do not yet feel comfortable with their children going maskless, or their child is at higher risk medically, they are free to continue masking.

As with any medical intervention, risks must be weighed versus benefits, and there is no proof that universal masking in schools is beneficial. We need to take into account the lack of evidence for mask efficacy and re-evaluate our policies and procedures. We know much more now than two years ago. The virus is likely shifting from a pandemic to endemic, and we need to shift with it. Parents should be able to follow the science, properly evaluate risk, and have the choice to unmask their children.

Following the science we should be free to decide whether our children should be masked or not, but what about our faith? As parents, we choose to send our children to a faith-based school because we want their faith to be a constant and influential part of their education. Our faith teaches us that we shall not fear and that God will protect us. How am I supposed to continually teach my child the principals of our faith when the school itself is acting out of fear. God will protect us, not a mask. 

We are asking you to kindly sign this petition to help stop the mandatory masking and allowing it to be optional. Being a private school our funding does not come from the government but from the PARENTS and the church. The CDC and WHO have both stated that the cloth masks we wear do not work and their protocols are recommendations not requirements. 


*Some content has been pulled from sources from TIME Magazine and The NY Times.* 

26 have signed. Let’s get to 50!