CORTLAND, Ohio (WKBN) – The mask debate continues as Lakeview Local School District welcomes students back Monday while mandating they wear masks.
Earlier Sunday, a group met at Pearl Park in Cortland to voice their opinion on the mask mandate.
Dozens of parents came together to discuss their concerns about not having the choice of whether to mask their kids at school, some of them referring to it as child abuse.
The Lakeview School District has updated their policies for the upcoming school year and will be requiring all students to wear masks effective Monday.
The community’s biggest concern is having the choice taken away from them.
“Lakeview Schools does not have to be a coparent in our owns lives,” said Jim Bradley, one parent at the meeting.
“They’re taking this away from the parents. That is the problem. They’re taking the choice. I am not against masks for anybody that wants to use them. I’m not against the vaccine, if you want to use them, but don’t tell us that this is something that we have to do and that it’s a mandate,” said Sherry Miracle, another parent.
Miracle says she has two young kids in the school system, including one with anxiety.
“She needs to see those smiles. She needs to be able to see her teacher’s face when she’s talking to her because they say, not only just expressive, but the facial features, they need to be able to read people and see people,” Miracle said.
Even students with medical issues want to have the freedom to make their own choice about wearing a mask.
Eliza Farr is a junior and suffers from a condition where she can have an aneurism at any given moment.
“Wearing that for eight hours a day while I’m already having oxygen cut off, like just normal breathing, it’s difficult,” Eliza said.
She says she plans to not wear a mask Monday, and if she gets sent home, that’s just the risk she’s willing to take.
“My friends and me and all of us want to have a normal year, like prep rallies, doing fun things in the hallway. The last time I had a normal year was my eighth grade year,” Eliza said.
A board meeting will be held on September 13 to open the floor for more discussion on the school mask mandate.
Those at Sunday’s meeting say they will continue to fight for what they believe in to make sure their kids get a full, quality education this year free of limitations.