Rockton parents rally for right to decide whether students wear masks in class

Local News

ROCKTON, Ill. (WTVO) ─ Dozens of local parents pushed for the option to send their kids back to the classroom this fall without a mask during a Hononegah School Board meeting Wednesday night.

The American Academy of Pediatrics has recommended all students, over the age of two, wear masks when classes resume, regardless of vaccination status.

“Masks should be optional and not mandated,” said parent Zach Meiborg. “If your child wants to go to school with a mask, or if you want your child to go to school with a mask, then send them to school with a mask. Good luck, I hope it works for you, but my child should not have to go to school with a mask because you’re afraid.”

David Kurlinkus, Hononegah School Board President, said the final decision on masking for District #207 will not come until closer to the start of the school year.

“We’re all concerned about our children,” said Kurlinkus. “That’s why you’re here, that’s why we’re here.”

The Durand School District already announced it will not mandate masks this fall. In a letter to parents, the district recommended unvaccinated students use mask, but said it will not be required.

Durand School Board President Annette DeYoung said the decision was made after considering the possible challenges.

“For a teacher to have to remember who’s vaccinated, and who hasn’t been vaccinated, and [say] ‘Little Johnny, you’re not wearing your mask, because it says on my list you haven’t been vaccinated.’ That would be a logistical nightmare to put on the teachers.” said DeYoung. “We’re going into registrations. Parents want to know, before they’re registering their kids, what the beginning of the school year is gonna look like for their students. We wanted to get this out there as soon as we made a decision.”

Eyewitness News also reached out to the Belvidere and Rockford school districts to ask if either will require masks. Both said they have yet to make that decision.

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