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Our petition is just about freedom of choice

If you don’t feel comfortable sending your child to school and have the resources to keep them home, keep them home. We just want what is best for the majority of the community.

By Amanda Morrison
Thank you very much for allowing our group to express our concerns, there have been many  false premises regarding our petition.  "Unmasked" is a group
of concerned, like-minded parents, that have pulled our resources together to
fight for the rights of our children.

It's important to recognize that we all want what's best for our children and the community. Contrary to the insinuations from others, we don't want to put people in harm's way.  Just as in many situations in life, I believe we all want the same end result but have drastically differing viewpoints on how to get there. Healthy kids, a healthy learning environment, and a united community.

As a community, we need to put our situation into perspective and work to achieve an outcome acceptable for the overwhelming majority of parents and
students.  I don't agree with the premise that if we don't drastically overhaul the education system. The data on the national, and state, and local level, has not played in that direction.  Many people say our numbers are rising. Are they? Hancock county health department is doing a great job reporting. They have 6 active cases and 1 death out of 76,000 people as of 6/24/2020. A reporter asked Governor Dewine on Tuesday, "What is the difference between dying from "Covid" and dying with "Covid"?  CDC guidelines blur any real distinction. Is Ohio following suit? You bet. There are many podcasts available on the subject.  We have no clue what is going on today with "data".  Yet our officials and parents are expected to make decisions based on this.

Throughout the pandemic many child care centers have stayed open for the
children of frontline workers – According to an article on WGBH by Anya
Kamentz, The YMCA of the USA and New York City’s Department of Education
have collectively been caring for thousands of children since March. Among
916 centers servicing over 20,000 children, just over 1% of staff and .16% of
children were confirmed to test positive in Arizona. The article also states, "there is converging evidence that the coronavirus doesn't transmit among
children like the flu — that it's a lower risk." Among these centers that have been caring for the children of frontline workers, "There are almost no recorded cases of child-to-adult transmission of COVID-19.."

We need to get our children in school everyday with a traditional learning
environment. Hybrid learning and online learning did not serve many families
and students well in the spring. According to a study by Pew Research, 1 in 5
teens were unable to complete homework due to lack of resources. We have
heard feedback from many families that struggled with children in multiple
grade levels, having to juggle work and school. Not all families had the flexibility to take time off work and properly school their children or the resources to pay someone to assist.

Another example of drastic overhaul would be the requirement stating that all
children, regardless of age, must wear a mask. Our petition is just about freedom of choice. If you want to wear a mask, wear a mask. Currently, in the State of Ohio, it's not mandated that all citizens wear a mask in public and there are varying viewpoints to the effectiveness of the masks. Can you imagine how a 5 or 6 year old will fare wearing a mask for an entire day at school?  I can not.  And is this healthy? We have been labelled "Anti-Science" in fact quite the opposite. The problem is there is little to no research on the effects of children wearing a mask.  We have searched for studies because the issue is new, I challenge you to find a scientific study that proves it is healthy or unhealthy for a child to wear a mask.

You see our “Unmasked” petition is not a selfish one, like it has been portrayed. Being a part of this group and advocating for parents is the least unselfish task I have ever been involved with. It is not just about my child but the community as a whole. Also, if you don’t feel comfortable sending your child to school and have the resources to keep them home, by all means, keep them home. We just want what is best for the majority of the community.

Other drastic measures we oppose are banning of recess, partitions, and lunch
restrictions. We want to ensure our children are provided the proper nutrition and are able to sit and share a meal together to recharge their minds and bodies. These limitations are not cost effective and we fail to see how these measures will stop the spread of COVID-19.

I could write for hours and cite sources indicating why these measures aren't
effective but if you oppose our stance. I am not going to convince you in one
letter to the editor but I challenge you to dig deeper than what you see on the surface. We need parents to voice their opinions right now. If you agree with us, now is not the time to be silent. Sign our petition, share it. We will represent the voices of all those that sign the petition. You pay taxes, your school is there to serve you and your family. Now is the time we need our voices to be heard. All of our children need to get back to school in a traditional learning environment.