In December, a group of 14 parents, most from Long Island, successfully sued the state over the school masking policy, saying the imposition of the mandate is beyond the scope of the state’s power. The rescinded mandat does not affect the case. It concerns the mechanism that allows these rules to be made. It is now moving through the New York State Court of Appeals.
“It was never about masks,” said Chad LaVeglia, a lawyer for those who are suing. “It was simply about giving parents the choice to make decisions for their kids.”
In Shannon Grennan’s kindergarten class, some children’s parents had sent her notes asking for her help in keeping their child masked; others had left it up to the children to decide.
Some of her 5- and 6-year-old students had flung off their masks with a thrill at the school’s double doors, but a few children who sat coloring at their desks were still masked. At one point, when Ms. Grennan taught a lesson on the weather, asking children what they would put on to stay warm outside, a hand went up: “A face mask!”
Students faced a new reality Wednesday as the mask divide sometimes existed within a single family. Harris Baltch stated that one of his children will wear a mask to school, while the other will not.
“This is definitely in many ways a welcome change, but we will see how it goes,” Mr. Baltch, 39, said, adding that he would have preferred waiting longer. “Hopefully they don’t start getting sick all over again.”
Laura McEnaney, a nearby mother, was happy to kiss her 11-year old twins goodbye. She reminded them to keep the masks down and to look straight ahead. Ms. McEnaney said that both boys have special needs and she has spoken out against masks at school board meetings. She felt that masks were a hindrance to their ability communicate and to read emotions.
“I don’t think they should have ever been masked — ever,” Ms. McEnaney said. “This should have been done a long time ago, and I think the kids have suffered.”
Annie CorrealContributed reporting
Source: NY Times