Parents express frustrations over mask mandates at HISD meeting

Some HISD parents are expressing frustrations over the mask mandate in HISD. KPRC 2's Brandon Walker has more.

HOUSTON – Parents who oppose HISD’s mask mandate voiced their frustrations Thursday over the school district’s plan to keep the policy in place, at least for the next month.

While to mask or not to mask was not a question up for discussion on the agenda for Thursday’s scheduled Board of Trustees meeting, parents who want the mandate stripped spoke out during a public comment period.

Megan Beauchamp did not speak during the meeting, but attended because she feels masks should be optional in schools, allowing parents to decide what is best for their children.

“It’s time to give parents the option,” Beauchamp said, adding the requirement that all students should wear masks doesn’t take into account the fact that every family is different.

“I personally have two children with speech articulation disorder and it’s been hard. I’ve watched them stagnate and they can’t see other people’s lips,” Beauchamp said.

Bruce Fulin, another parent in attendance, said HISD’s hard stance on masks doesn’t take into consideration other points of view, including scientific arguments against masking children, he said.

“HISD, the board, lost a lot of credibility today in the community,” Fulin said, urging HISD to be more transparent with families. “HISD failed to articulate its point of view to the parents and to the community and also failed to take appropriate actions.”

At the moment, HISD’s current COVID-19 mitigation strategy will remain in place.

“HISD’s mitigation strategy continues to be driven by the data,” the school district released in a statement posted to its twitter account.

“If current trends continue and data shows that conditions are improving, we will re-assess our COVID-19 mitigation protocols - including the mask mandate - on March 11,” the statement continued.

Parents who oppose the mandate said they’ll be watching.

“I’m glad, at least, they’re going to make a decision, but again, this should be done with transparency,” Fulin said.

By the numbers, HISD’s COVID-19 dashboard reports 934 total active cases, including staff and students.

Respectively, that breaks down to .54 percent of staff and .41 percent of students enrolled.

Proponents of the policy said low infection rates speak to its success.

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Emmy and Edward R. Murrow award-winning journalist. NOLA born and bred, though #HoustonStrong, with stops in Minnesota, New York, Massachusetts, and Connecticut in along the way.