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Mom questions Madison County school district's decision to change mask policy

Masks are optional unless there is a 1% or greater positivity rate.
Posted at 7:42 AM, Nov 15, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-15 07:44:21-05

MADISON COUNTY — A mother is questioning a decision made by South Madison Community School Corporation administrators to change the district's mask policy.

Starting Monday, masks will be optional unless buildings have a 1% or greater positivity rate.

"Just let our kids get vaccinated," Cynthia Holladay said. "We've had masks for two years. You can't wait another six weeks until next semester? I just find that really hard to believe."

Holladay doesn't agree with the school board's recent decision to loosen mask restrictions. The pediatric vaccine for children ages 5-11 was approved less than two weeks ago.

"My fear is what's going to happen is, while these parents are desperately trying to get their kids get vaccinated, in the middle of that, they are going to get covid," she said.

Holladay said the former policy was effective.

"The policy in place is when Madison County is in the orange or red which is very high spread, the kids are required to wear masks. When it's yellow or blue it's not required. It is optional," she said.

According to the school system, masks will only be required if buildings have a 1% or greater positivity rate. That equals seven cases at Pendleton Heights Middle School, eight cases at East and Maple Ridge Elementary Schools, 10 cases at Pendleton Elementary School and 14 cases at Pendleton Heights High School.

"I just don't think this is in the best interest of the kids. I haven't heard any of the health departments waiting until there is an outbreak to take precautions," Holladay said.

Another concern Holladay has is the health department is out of pediatric vaccine and doesn't know when it will get more.

"They were telling parents if you really want your child vaccinated you need to go to another county. That's great for parents who have gas money and can drive around looking for another place, but lets be honest that's not a ton of parents that can do that," she said.

Holladay said she transferred her children to South Madison Community Schools last year.

"I drive them over 20 minutes everyday to go there because of the COVID precautions they had in place there," she said.

Now, Holladay said she thinking about withdrawing them and she wants to know what led the school board to change its policy.

She added that more children may now have to quarantine. The state health department says children with a mask mandate do not have to quarantine.

WRTV has reached out to the South Madison Community School Corporation for a response. We are waiting to hear back.