Concerned parent petitions for optional all-mask classrooms

Local News

A mother in Bettendorf is advocating for parents to have the option for their students to be placed in a mask-required classroom for the upcoming fall semester.

The state of Iowa currently does not allow schools to enforce mask mandate policies for students. With cases of COVID-19 and the delta variant, in particular, continuing to spread across the Quad Cities, parents worry about their children going back into the classroom surrounded by unvaccinated and potentially unmasked students.

“Unfortunately the Iowa State law has taken away parent’s choice… my petition aims to give them that choice back.” concerned parent and creator of the petition, Katherine Weatherspoon, explains.

Weatherspoon’s daughter has Asthma, which means she is considered “high-risk” for COVID-19 and its symptoms. This is why Weatherspoon has a particular passion for helping the school district find solutions to the mask debate that would cater to all perspectives. She believes the plan outlined in her petition provides a way for pro-mask parents to feel safe sending their children to school, while still allowing those against masks to have their choice not to wear them.

Weatherspoon feels the absence of an all-mask option is eliminating the choice of committing to safety for worried parents. She compares the request of an opt-in all-mask classroom being available for immunocompromised or asthmatic students to schools accommodating those with peanut allergies, “if a student had a nut allergy the student would contact the school and ask if they can be in a classroom that’s nut free and that request was honored… I really see this as no different,” Weatherspoon said.

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