There were a lot of emotions and differing opinions Thursday, but ultimately concerned parents voiced their concerns to the Bettendorf Community School Board.
Even before Thursday’s school board meeting at Bettendorf High School, parents were already outside with signs expressing their sentiments.
“We’re trying to provide kids the best education possible at the highest level and we have to figure out the best way to do that,” said Melissa Zumdone. “But when we are putting all our focus on masking our kids we are not doing that. It’s a distraction.”
Some parents even brought their own self-conducted research to the meeting to try and explain to the school board that science is behind both sides of the issue.
“If you choose to vote for a mask mandate tonight based on guidance from the CDC, I hope you recommend everything recommended by the CDC, including masks need to be worn by all people indoors at all times – athletes, musicians at all times, everyone.”
While a clear majority of the parents in attendance were opposed to a mask mandate, there were a few who felt a policy enforcing students to wear masks should be adopted.
“They don’t have a voice here – the fact (is) they can’t even be vaccinated. I have two kids in elementary, two in preschool. They don’t have a voice, so I’m going to speak for them.”
One father whose wife is an elementary school teacher in the district said parents’ choices should go both ways.
“The parents are the ones who need to force their kids to wear a mask if they feel it’s the right thing to do. But don’t force it on the parents who don’t feel it’s the right thing to do.”
In the end, a school board member made a motion to pass a mask mandate. However, he did not receive a second vote from a single one of his fellow board members, ultimately sinking the proposed mask mandate for Bettendorf students for now.