We are worried about our children’s education and we are outraged by governors playing COVID politics with our children’s health!
At this moment, just as schools are opening for the fall, the Delta variant is sickening an unprecedented number of children and pediatric ICU beds are filling up. Yet, some governors have been taking mind-boggling actions to block and intimidate local school officials from taking reasonable public health measures in order to slow the spread of COVID-19 and keep schools open. In fact, in some states, despite court cases ruling mask bans illegal, governors in AZ, FL, IA, OK, SC, TN, TX, UT are doubling down and withholding funds from school districts that mandate masks to protect the health of their students as punishment. Not okay!
**Quick signature: Tell governors you are outraged, and to stop playing politics with our kids’ health by banning local school officials from taking reasonable public health measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19!
What’s happening? While parents across the country are adding masks to their back-to-school supplies list to protect their kids (and others’ kids!) from contracting COVID-19, some governors has been BANNING school districts from requiring them. This is contrary to public health guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, American Academy of Pediatrics, and the Children’s Hospital Association. As more and more kids get infected, the number of hospitalizations and even deaths of children are increasing. In fact, over 220 children’s hospitals are pleading for immediate help because they are overflowing with pediatric COVID patients!
This is not only scary, it’s outrageous and unacceptable! After over a year and a half into this pandemic, we know what public safety measures can stem the spread of COVID-19. Our leaders should be doing what they can to protect the health of our children and keep them in school. The American Academy of Pediatrics outlined what we can all do to make sending our kids back to school as safe as possible: Vaccination (currently available for children over the age of 12 and adults), universal mask use, ventilation, testing, quarantining, and cleaning and disinfecting. It is irresponsible for school officials not to take these steps and for governors or other politicians to stand in their way.
When you click, you’ll automatically sign on to our letter that reads:
Dear Governors Ducey, DeSantis, Reynolds, Stitt, McMaster, Lee, Abbott, & Cox:
We are outraged - stop playing politics with our kids’ health! The ban you issued on masking in schools is contrary to public health experts’ recommendations and risks our children’s health and ability to keep schools open. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), and the Children’s Hospital Association (CHA) all agree that to protect children’s health extra public health measures are critical right now.
While the Delta variant is spreading like wildfire and pediatric ICUs are filling up we can’t waste another minute to take action to slow the spread of COVID-19. To protect our kids and keep them in school, we need a layered approach to prevent the spread of COVID-19 with state officials working alongside school districts, parents, and schoolchildren to stem the spread—NOT against them!
We need our leaders to follow the recommendations of nationally and internationally respected public health experts. We need everyone who can to get vaccinated. We need universal masking while COVID numbers are up. And we need to adhere to proven safety practices like masking, ventilation, testing, social distancing, and hand washing. When it comes to the health and safety of our children, we demand leadership—not blocking safety measures and political games!
President Biden announced last month that he would not stand by and allow governors in AZ, FL, IA, OK, SC, TN, TX, UT to prevent local school districts from protecting their students with mask mandates while cases of COVID-19 are skyrocketing. This week, the Department of Education announced it will be opening civil rights investigations in Iowa, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee and Utah to determine whether these bans discriminate against students with disabilities. Banning mandatory masking could leave children with complex medical needs and disabilities with limited access to in-person learning opportunities!