Every week, the superintendent for the Richardson Independent School District, Jeannie Stone, records a video for the district touching on different topics, including the pandemic.
Most recently, her video addressed her stance on masks and reconfirming that the district plans to stick to the current policy.
“I'm also aware that there is the faction of parents in our community that have joined together to voice strong opposition to the wearing of mask. I respect each and every parent, and I respect every person's opinion and beliefs. While I strive to deliver what every parent wants, I need to be clear that I will follow the advice and guidance of the aforementioned health officials until they are no longer needed," said Stone.
The video, which was posted on Oct. 22, starts off with Stone explaining how in her 30 years of education, she has never had to consult with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention when it comes to advice for operating school. She said every week she continues to have advice
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She said the district is following the CDC recommendation, which is anyone over the age of 2 should wear a mask while in a public place.
Richardson ISD has what is called, The Return to School Blueprint, which outlines the district's requirement to have all students and staff wear masks while on campus or at an event.
"They say because COVID-19 spreads from person-to-person via respiratory droplets, properly wearing a mask helps prevent the spread of the virus to others, including those at a higher risk of severe illness. Especially when paired with other prevention tactics such as proper social distancing and frequent hand washing. They say at this point wearing a mask is one of the most important tools we have to fight the spread of the virus," said Stone.
She said while majority of parents appreciate the district is following these guidelines, she is aware of those who don't.
Some parents who oppose having their kids wear masks to school say they worry it will impact their children's education and mental health. Some are expected to voice their concerns at the next school board meeting.
It's not only parents weighing in. Stone said she's also hears from district employees who continue to express their concerns about their health.
"I'm listening to our staff members who continue to be fearful of being around so many people, including both adults and students for their protection and certainly the protection of our students," Stone said.
She said she won't change her position of requiring everyone in the district to wear masks as she continues to follow local, state and national health guidelines.
"I will continue to promote and enforce our requirement for the wearing of masks and the many safety protocols that we have been told we should be employing to keep our district safe. I hope you can respect that position that I assert as a leader, as I respect the opinion and position of each and every person who makes up our Richardson ISD family," Stone said during the video.