Carroll County Board of Education keeps masks optional for the start of the 2021-2022 school year for CCPS

During the Carroll County Board of Education meeting on August 11th a lengthy discussion was had about masking in the upcoming school year for Carroll County Public Schools (CCPS). After listening to parents testify for masks and against masks this upcoming school year, a discussion with the Carroll County Health Officer (Ed Singer) during a COVID-19 update and discussion between the Board members…the Board decided to remain with their current policy of Masks Optional to start the school year.

Here is the end of the discussion and the decision made on the subject:


If you want to see the full discussion at the Carroll County Board of Education meeting on August 11th you can find it here:

  • Parent Testimony
    • For Masks: starts at 10:45
    • Against Masks: starts at 19:40
  • Carroll County Health Officer COVID-19 Update
    • Starts at 1:19:40
  • Decision
    • At 2:33:15

Again…it is a lengthy discussion (as it should be) and if interested hearing it all I recommend watching the video above.

This brings my updated map to look like this for the jurisdictions that I have seen recent decisions on:

You can read my previous article on masking in Maryland school systems on August 11th (Updated Mask Mandates in Maryland Schools: Calvert County Public Schools to require masks for students, staff and visitors).

I will continue to monitor other jurisdictions and provide an additional update around August 14th.

Scott E

20 comments

  1. This is irresponsible and dangerous to school children unable to vaccinate. What is the cost of a mask or the inconvenience of a mask compared to the life of a child? You are making it impossible for many children whose parents do not want to risk their children’s health or children with immune compromised conditions to return to school.
    Try explaining 20 years from now to the child with long-term covid disabilities why you could not even try to protect them with a simple mask.

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    • Boooo. Get over it. Children are not as affected by this as fragile adults. How do we get to herd immunity with masks on? If you’re concerned for your kids, it’s your paranoia, so mask em up and mind your business. The cost of mask wearing is you are impairing children’s immune systems from developing antibodies to ALL bacteria and viruses. So when we do get back to “normal” the children forced to wear masks will inevitably get very sick at the first touch of a bug. You are also impeding young children’s ability to learn social cues that require reading an entire face in person. Take your paranoia elsewhere please. How do you explain to your kids that because you forced them to wear a mask, their immune systems have become weakened and deteriorated?

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      • Your logic is so faulty it is hard to know where to begin. Lets just go with the the gist of your argument. The whole idea that our immune system is somehow weakened when we don’t get diseases is utter nonsense. We do develope fairly temporary immunities to viruses when we contract them, but that only effects that specific virus. It does not somehow make the rest of our immune system more robust against anything else. The idea that letting our children get this virus because there is such a small chance of becoming very sick, with as of yet unknown long term effects, or even death. Is obscene. Let that one child be yours and see how your opinion changes. And while it may not be yours. Covid has 100% killed children in this country. Well was going to have a longer response to all the craziness in your response. But they just passed a statewide mask mandate. So the shoe is on the other foot. So Booo hoo, get over it.

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      • Joe,
        I agree. This woman is a fry short of a happy meal. God forbid, unless it is one of her children lying in the hospital struggling to breathe or their heart stops from the pressure of fluid build up in their lungs. She will never get it because you can’t fix stupid. As I heard said these are the type of people that drink the KOOL-Aid!
        EVERYONE PLEASE, PLEASE MASK YOURSELF AND YOUR CHILDREN. WHETHER YOU BELIEVE IT’S REAL OR NOT, WHY TAKE THE CHANCE WITH YOUR CHILDREN’S LIVES. EVEN IF YOU BELIEVE IT’S NOT REAL WHAT WILL WEARING A MASK HURT!

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    • Couldn’t agree more. This is a political decision, not one based on science/data. The board will face the same backlash when children inevitably get sick. They will deserve it for not listening to their own health officials or heeding the warning signs that are coming from other districts already opened.

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  2. All the counties around the Carroll have the mask mandates in schools. Why is Carroll County Board of Education don’t think about the heath of our kids and the teachers? They are going against CDC, why they decide health related topics like this, they should not have such authority! Our kids can’t get vaccinated because its not even approved yet. Plus they don’t even offer remote option for kids K-5. So we have to home school our kids now because of irresponsible Board of Education.

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  3. The board made a very irresponsible decision in not requiring masks for students, teachers, and school employees. Why does the board think they know better than the CDC in regards to mask wearing? The board’s job is to not only provide a good education for children, but also to provide a safe environment to do that. Mask wearing would help in providing a safe environment for the children. It’s hard to believe after all the deaths that COVID has caused, that the board would not consider mask wearing to prevent the death of a child, teacher, or school employee.

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    • So, you’ve also drank the Koolaid? You truly believe this is the end of days? This virus is how mother nature evens the playing field across the planet. If you are concerned, wear a mask, wash your hands, and allow others to do as they please. We will all be better off when we stop over dramatizing a perfectly natural event.

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      • You have a lot to say about choice. It is your choice to put your children in harms way. not ours! You want people to mind their business? Take your own advice. Send your kids to school they get sick or something happens , it’s people like you that screams the loudest why didn’t CCPS do something to protect my kids. You vaccinate your children for chicken pox, mumps, measles? They have any of these? No, you know why? We eradicated them by VACCINATIONS!

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      • So did I “drink the koolaid” by exaggerating the danger of COVID, or is COVID the way “mother nature evens the playing field across the planet” by killing tons of people because it’s highly dangerous? Which is it? And if the latter, are we allowed to take measures to ensure our own children aren’t part Mother Nature’s death toll? Please?

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  4. Is it possible the school board listened to the children’s parent?
    I mean isn’t their job to represent the people that voted for them?
    I don’t believe there are definitive data driven studies when it comes to masking children.
    Yes properly worn certain kind of masks may prevent some spread but how much?
    And will the masks all fit and be worn properly? And what about lunch?
    Does covid not spread during lunchtime but not during math class?

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    • You don’t believe or you haven’t looked into studies of masks and children? And per your comment, “Yes properly worn certain kind of masks may prevent some spread but how much?”, isn’t any level of additional protection enough to warrant a mandatory mask policy? If it’s one child’s death or severe disease prevented, I’d say it’s worth it, since the masks will cause no harm.

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  5. Outraged!!!! Shame on you CCPS BOE for making the wrong, irresponsible decision to not require masks to protect our most “at risk” population, our children who can’t be vaccinated yet!!! How will you sleep at night WHEN (not if) children get sick with COVID knowing you could have prevented? There will continue to be a disruption to learning when children need to quarantine because they were exposed to a child(ren) sent to school without a mask. This is not a “freedom” issue, it’s not a “political” issue, it’s a PUBLIC HEALTH issue and you seem to just dance to the beat of your own drummer. Ignoring CDC, scientists, doctors and your own health officer. Very disappointed in our elected officials.

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    • It’s not WHEN, it is if, stop with the paranoia. The children will get vaccinated by the fall. Chill out. It is a fact that many children have already contracted the virus and passed it on without so much as a blip in body temperature or a tingle in the throat. Wash your hands, wear your mask, keep your distance, mind your business. People who live in Carroll county are very happy about this decision. I am one of them.

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      • Jessie, you seem to be forgetting some things. Sure, most children have ended up being ok, but they miss school and so do any close contacts. My daughter had to quarantine last year because a student in her class tested positive. This year, kids won’t have the option to attend by video when this happens – this could turn into a mess of year with kids in and out, as a kid test positive and others have the quarantine. Almost every single county in Maryland is now requiring masks and our county health commissioner recommends it, but our school board isn’t following his guidance. And we don’t know what’s going to happen with the Delta variant here in the coming months (in some states there’s data that suggests kids are getting sicker from it and it’s spreading more easily), so masking up for at least a little while longer seems like a small ask and might keep our kids from missing a bunch of days.

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  6. I am grateful that CCPS Board has elected to make masks optional for our children. This allows parents to make the decision that is best for their own family, as mask-wearing is not a one size fits all solution. Because we know as a matter of fact that children are at no greater risk of illness from sars-cov-2 than the seasonal flu, this is a demonstrably sound decision.

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    • But your mask protects others, not just you. So a parent’s decision to unmask their child puts others at risk. And it’s not just about the illness itself. It’s also about all the time the students could miss in the classroom, if they contract COVID or are a close contact and are ordered to quarantine. Is wearing a mask really so bad that we can’t do what almost every single Maryland county is doing in their schools, until more people can get vaccinated and we get this thing further under control?

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  7. I have a child in Shiloh Middle. He has autism with a pain perception disorder. He can not wear a mask because he hyperventilates. His physician does not want him vaccinated at this time. I am immune suppressed. The county is not offering any virtual schooling. When calling his principal David Watkins told me to apply for home and hospital. He was denied but not after Mr. Mongold from home and hospital talked to my sons physician and in their conversation he stated he unknowingly contracted covid and passed in to a family member and that family member passed away from the virus. Ok so that is the type of responsibility they would possibly put on the shoulders of our children. After he was denied I spoke to Mr. Watkins again in which he told me I don’t know what to tell you Mrs. Chatham just wait until the August 11th meeting of the board to see if the mandatory masking will be put back in place and virtual would probably be offered again. This is the kind of people that are making decisions for our children. Now I have no idea of how my son will be educated this year because Carroll County is refusing unless it is in person. After years of fighting the school system and board of education to follow my sons IEP . After in Hampstead Elementary he sustained a Broken collar bone in December of 2017 on the wet muddy playground. Then on December 4 2018 when he fell from a 6 to 8 foot sliding board to the ground on his back. Fracturing his T4, T5 and T7 vertebra. When they picked him up and walked him to the nurses office, because he was not crying and he said he was OK. This school had proof in his file from his physician of his pain prescription disorder, WHY because the aids stand on a hillside talking not on the playground wear at the time more the one special needs child was playing. When speaking with Arlene Moore the principal she said that yes she was aware of this and she will being addressing it. When trying to get the proper accommodation for my son to go back to school after a month the assistance principal Lauren Wilder told me my sons recess would consist on him seating in a chair on the blacktop watching the other children play. Yes these are the people schooling our children. Making complaints to the board of education is a joke. If you can not afford a lawyer you special need child does not stand a chance in Carroll County Public schools. Now with less then a month to the start of school my son has no education plan for schooling from Carroll County public schools for the 2021-2022 school year.

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  8. This is a decision that is likely to lead to disaster. Masks work best if all are masks. Sending kids, especially the younger ones that don’t have access to the vaccine, into this environment without a virtual option is nothing short of negligent. The Governor’s office and the local health officials are recommending mandatory masks. This should be a no brainer. Which board members are epidemiologists or clinicians? They should listen to the public health guidance then, rather than caving into political pressure. Note that Carroll County just indicated they’d be switching some meeting from in-person to virtual based on the continued/increasing risk of COVID-19. But the school board throws caution to the wind and gambles with our children’s health.

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  9. Karen, I am so sorry for all you and your son have been going through. I am speechless after reading your story.

    Maura Ziolkowski

    Like

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