A number of online petitions are circulating in Jeff Davis Parish, the latest dealing with children and the school system.
Two petitions were created over the weekend on the website Change.org. Both are seeking support for resistance to the school system's plans to open school according to state and federal health guidelines.
Kirk Credeur, Superintendent Jeff Davis School Board, said he's aware of them.
"We have two objectives. One: teach the student to the best of our ability, Two: to return the students home as safe as possible and limit the exposure to COVID 19," Credeur said. "The Jeff Davis Parish School system will do everything they can that the medical community directs them to do to keep the students safe."
One petition, created on June 27, aims to try to stop the School Board from requiring students to wear masks when they return to school this fall.
The petition, titled "No mask wearing for children in Jeff Davis Parish," had over 300 signatures as of noon Tuesday.
The petition says that masks "should be a choice" for students. The organizer writes that she believes that masks pose possible health risks.
"Wearing mask for long periods of times not only causes headaches/migraines but other health problems in the lungs." the petition states. "Let's stand up for our rights as humans and for the health of our children! Mask should be a CHOICE!!!"
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends face coverings for children, and offers tips on how to handle masks with your children. To read that article, click here.
The myth that face masks cause breathing problems has been repeatedly debunked. Oxygen and Carbon Dioxide molecules are so small that they easily pass through face coverings, physicians say. To read more about debunked myths about masks, click here and here.
In their recent guidance for the reopening of schools for the 2020-2021 school year, The Louisiana Department of Education stated that all Adults and students (3rd grade and up) should wear face coverings, as able, to the maximum extent possible. They also noted that any child over age two may wear a face covering.
Guidance suggests that face coverings be worn in all areas of the school including classrooms and during arrival, dismissal, and any other transition within the school building. The LDOE said that individuals with severe breathing difficulties should not wear face coverings.
The CDC also provides guidance on its website about cloth face coverings and how masks can be adapted to for those in differing circumstances like those who are deaf/hard of hearing, those with developmental disabilities and younger children.
A link to that petition can be found, here.
A second petition started by Summer LeJeune is calling for the school system to "Keep School Traditional in Jeff Davis Parish."
The petition states that education of children should be in the hands of parents.
"If our schools start doing hybrid schedules (part time on campus, part time at home) or changing to completely at home, parents will have to miss work or incur the cost of child care for the days the students are required to stay home." the petition reads. "Many families already struggle with making ends meet without adding the expense of childcare or the loss of hours at work because they have to stay home with their children."
It also echoes the claims in Hebert's petition about the "health risks" associated with masks.
There were 83 supporters of the LeJeune's petition as of noon Tuesday.
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