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Is "Maskless Monday" actually happening at Rochester Public Schools next week?

Is this for real?  A friend of mine sent me a screenshot of a photo that was posted a few days ago on the RPS - Prioritize Our children! Facebook page and asked me to dig in a bit.  If people in Rochester are telling their kids to participate, she isn't sure she wants to send her kids to school that day.  Honestly, I don't know if I want my kids going either.

Credit: Facebook page RPS - prioritize our children!

"Your child has been exposed to COVID-19"

My friend's kids have been sent home 3 times since April due to exposure of COVID at school and every time that happens, she isn't allowed to go to work.  When she gets the phone call or e-mail that says "Your child has been exposed to COVID-19" means that her world is now turned upside down again - more phone calls to her boss, leaving work to get the kids from school, scheduling COVID tests, and all the extras that seem to fall on mom shoulders.  For her, she handles it all because she's a single parent that is trying to keep her job while juggling all of this.

Devonyu GettyStock

I'm feeling some PTSD with all these e-mails and phone calls.

Any other parents out there feeling some PTSD with the school e-mails and phone calls?  My friend and I were chatting and when our kids tell us that half their class went home in the middle of the day we know that a phone call and e-mail will be coming next.  Our hearts start racing because this cycle of uncertainty happens all over again.

I don't know how I'm going to personally get through those feelings but seeing people advocating for "Maskless Monday" doesn't help me as a parent or my friend who is dealing with the COVID chaos.

Halfpoint GettyStock

"Just stay home if you are scared or don't agree"

I've heard the argument that I can just stay home if I don't feel safe with others being out without masks on.  I hear you and I see your responses but now we are talking about kids, my kids, my friends' kids, and their schooling.  How is that fair to them?  The push was to get kids back in school and that has happened.  If this is a real thing, what is the purpose when we have a handful of days left of the school year?

So, is this "Maskless Monday" thing real because if it is, I'm not sure if my kids will be going to school on Monday?  Let me know if you know something at my Facebook page - Jessica On The Radio.

What is Rochester Public Schools saying about kids wearing masks?

Rochester Public Schools sent out a reminder to students and families on May 18th about the mask policy for students.  If you missed that e-mail, it is below for you:

Dear RPS Families,

There are two weeks left of our school year – and it has been quite a year. It is important we all remain diligent with mitigation strategies including wearing masks. RPS will follow the Minnesota Department of Education (MDE)'s Safe Learning Plan guidance for the remainder of the school year. This requires wearing masks indoors.

The CDC also continues to recommend that school staff and students wear masks in school buildings and on school buses for the remainder of the school year.

The CDC cites the following reasons for continuing to wear masks in schools:

  • Students will not be fully vaccinated by the end of the 2020-21 school year. Youth under the age of 12 are not yet eligible for vaccination. Youth between the ages of 12 and 15 became eligible for vaccination on May 12, 2021. Because people are not fully vaccinated until 2 weeks after their second dose of the Pfizer vaccine, students in this age group will not be fully vaccinated before the end of current school year.
  • The time needed for schools to make systems and policy adjustments.  Systems and policy adjustments may be required for schools to change mask requirements for students and staff while continuing to ensure the safety of unvaccinated populations.

We appreciate your continued support through this difficult year.

Listen to Jessica Williams weekdays from 6 am until 10 am on the Y-105FM Early Morning Show with James and Jessica.

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