CONNECTICUT, USA — Following a recommendation to get rid of the state-wide mask mandate in schools, Connecticut parents have mixed opinions on the matter. Some still plan on masking their kids no matter what, while others say the decision should be out of the government's hands.
"It’s not something that I'm really looking forward to," said Mike Robinson, who has three kids who go to Hartford schools.
Robinson had a chat with his middle child on the way to school this morning, telling her about the latest developments and where their family stands on it all.
"I just let her you know, 'Listen, there may be some other kids who don’t have masks because the governor is saying we don’t need masks in schools anymore. But me, mom, we would still want you to wear your mask.' And she's all for it," Robinson said.
Gov. Ned Lamont made the recommendation to remove the mask mandate in schools by the end of the month. The announcement was made Monday, alongside the commissioner for the Connecticut Department of Public Health and the commissioner for the Connecticut State Department of Education.
In order for this plan to move forward, the legislature will have to vote to allow the commissioners to repeal or reinstate the mask mandate. Then, it's up to localities to make the final call.
"It will be up to the superintendents of schools and mayors to make that election themselves. Because every town is different, every town has its certain different sense of what the vaccination is, what the risks are," Gov. Lamont said.
Still, that's not enough for some Connecticut parents. That's why they're hosting a rally on Wednesday at 10 a.m. at The Connecticut State Capitol.
"Our group isn’t advocating to ban masks or anything like that, we’re advocating for parents to be able to make choices for their own families and their own children," said Jonathan Johnson, Founder of Unmask Our Kids CT.
Johnson is the father of two young kids. He founded Unmask Our Kids CT in the spring of 2021. His main mission is to get to a place where parents can make decisions on masking, or not masking their children on their own, without the government's say.
“We don't think Governor Lamont's announcement goes far enough. That's not good enough. That’s not what parents want. Parents don’t want to now be dictated to, by, the Department of Public Health and the Department of Education. And the state to be giving metrics to your town to decide for you whether or not your children are going to have mask choices in those schools or not," Johnson said. "Parents want choices now."
Johnson said hundreds of parents will be taking the day off of work and school with their children to head to the Capitol on Wednesday.
"We're just urging people to come on down with their signs and with their children, and pull their children out of school in protest for the day, and congregate on the front lawn," Johnson said.
However, regardless of what happens on the state level, some parents still plan to ask their kids to wear a mask at school. That includes those who haven't gotten their kids vaccinated yet.
"She’s not ready for it and I don’t want to force her," said Alieu Mansaray, who has three kids at Hartford schools.
A decision from the state has yet to be finalized. The legislature spent all day Tuesday hosting a hearing on the governor's expiration of executive orders, coming up this month. The public had a chance to weigh in after the first two hours. To watch that hearing, click here.
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