The mask mandate issue is heating up. The courts are helping by siding with parents. In the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, parents in the largest school district filed a federal lawsuit to force mask mandates, and a few days later, the district instituted mask mandates. In Florida, a judge rebuked Ron DeSantis’s “parental rights” order by finding that one parent’s rights may not infringe upon the rights of another parent’s right, ruling that order unconstitutional. A federal judge recently blocked Tennessee Governor Bill Lee’s order allowing parents to “opt out” of mask mandates. It is truly a shame that federal judges are having to override the people elected to office to protect citizens. Lee claimed in May that children do not get sick From Covid. The same idiotic “logic” is being used in Cobb County.
The Cobb County Courier reported that parents are livid with Board of Education Chairman Randy Scamihorn because of his claim that children are “pretty-well immune to [COVID].” Tell that to parents of sick children who are clogging up pediatric wards across the county. On August 27, Georgia Public Broadcasting reported that over 103,000 students between the ages of 5 and 17 tested positive for Covid less than a month into the school year. Classrooms are closing, and doctors are pleading with Governor Brian Kemp to institute mask mandates. Cobb County refuses mask mandates, and some parents who moved to the county for the reputation of its schools are moving out. One parent told GPB that she feels “Republican members of the board are catering to a small but vocal minority of conservatives who oppose COVID safety measures for cultural rather than health reasons.” Even as the county recently elected Democrats to the county commission, sheriff’s office, and district attorney, the school board has remained majority Republican by one seat. That one seat allowed them to change the rules of what constitutes a majority, and guess how many members that is? Four. Because of those four, the board refuses to put anything on its agenda that even remotely discusses Covid 19. When one member, Tre Hutchins, requested to discuss the issue, Scamihorn said that “it’s not an emergency.” He even went so far as to say to a pediatric nurse that Dr. Fauci, the CDC, and the Department of Health are all lying. That nurse said that she felt like she was “talking to a QAnon member.” The fight for mask mandates in Cobb County is poised to take a turn that Scamihorn and other Republicans won’t like.
The Board of Health held an emergency meeting on September 7, resulting in the issuance of a “position statement” encouraging the school board to institute mask mandates and to further require vaccinations and institute protocols for “cleaning, ventilation, testing, quarantining, and disinfecting.” Interestingly, the county had a new ventilation system in its budget, but they decided to forego that to offer ludicrous salaries to substitute teachers because of the loss of teachers. Great idea—bring even more Covid into the county. School Superintendent Chris Ragsdale—whose children attend private school—abstained from the vote. Coward. He can run, but he cannot hide.
Shirley is a former entertainment writer and has worked in the legal field for over 25 years