Submitted by Kelly O’Connor
Have you ever said, “let me know if I can do anything?” to a friend in need? I have many times. Rarely do people reply. However, recently my beautiful daughter with an overwhelmed heart and tone said these words. “Mom, can you please help me with the mask situation at my son’s school?” I could hear, as only as a mother could hear. A cry from her heart, “I can’t fight this one.” Don’t get me wrong, she is a fighter. Always has been, always will be. But this particular ask was different. Our grandson has Type 1 Diabetes, an autoimmune disease, where your pancreas doesn’t make insulin. Every day of his life is in the hands of his parents and technology.
In the past eight years, we have had an amazing experience with the CUSD. The staff and teachers have been excellent in so many ways. Coronado’s reputation has consistently preceded itself and although not perfect, their faculty from the top-down has always gone above and beyond for our children. Yet I am concerned with the policies particular individuals have in mind for the 2021-2022 academic school year. In mid-March 2020 California was the first state in the nation to shut down to “flatten the curve.” Between then and now our family has gone through the very difficult task like so many others have of navigating what would protect our family’s health in the best way possible. We got fresh air, exercised, focused on getting quality sleep, fixed our diets, and worked on boosting our immune system as much as possible.
COVID-19 and its severity is very real and a prominent threat to many individuals. Yet when it comes to our children, it falls back on the parent’s responsibility to determine what is going to be best for their child’s mental and physical well-being. A two-year period is crucial in the sustainable development of a child’s future. We cannot merely jeopardize this time by allowing this supposed experiment of mask mandates and social distancing protocols to be installed in classrooms. It is not up to a school board, superintendent, or governor to find what suits our child’s personal needs. It is our duty as parents to exercise medical freedom and push for policies that ensure those rights are protected.
Let Them Breathe is an organization of caring parents concerned about the effects of facial coverings on children’s mental, physical, and social health. I’ve partnered with the organization to hold a pro-choice mask rally regarding school policy taking place at 201 Sixth St., August 19th at 3 pm at the CUSD board meeting. This event’s purpose is to have a respectful discussion about the current and future COVID-19 policies CUSD plans to enact and how they can ensure the community’s voice is properly heard.