Parents plan to rally for mask mandate in Cobb County schools Thursday

coronavirus image -- a white sphere with red corona spikes emanating outwardThis illustration, created at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), reveals ultrastructural morphology exhibited by coronaviruses. (public domain image)

By Rebecca Gaunt

Parents frustrated with the lack of COVID-19 safety protocols in Cobb County School District are planning a rally at the CCSD main office.

Parents and students in support of implementing a mask mandate will meet outside the district office at 514 Glover St. in Marietta on Thursday at 4:30 p.m. Organizers ask that attendees bring masks, water, signs, and remain socially distanced.


In less than 24 hours, a Facebook group dedicated to the cause grew to more than 1,000 members.

Orit Small, the group administrator, told the Courier,” “Leaving my daughter at [elementary] school this morning was very difficult – knowing the virus is spreading with nearly no actionable protocol in place to slow it – I finally realized I either need to enroll her in private or do everything in my power to push the district into action. I chose to stand up instead of walk away because this isn’t just about my child. This is about all those kids whose health is left to chance today thanks to the political agenda of Cobb District.”

Nooshin Johnson kept her son home Tuesday due to a stomachache and headache. Her son has asthma and told her that the students who sit near him in class don’t wear masks.

She responded to the absence notice that came via CTLS, writing that she didn’t “want to possibly expose anyone in class in case it turns out to be Covid. We all need to do our part to protect our children and their classmates and teachers even when the school district blatantly refuses to do so and goes against all public health guidelines, not to mention common sense.”

Jessica Grant spoke to the Courier in July about her concerns. When she elected to send her kindergartner face-to-face this year, she never expected Cobb to drop its mask mandate. One week into the school year, her child tested positive and other family members have symptoms.

“If we weren’t under quarantine, I’d be there for sure,” she said of the rally.

Lesley Zebrowitz’s third grader sits four to a small table and eats in the cafeteria. Mom is currently keeping her out because she was exposed to a substitute that was coughing.

“She will be home at least until we get a negative test, and I am thinking of yanking her entirely because I cannot trust the administrators,” she said.

The CDC and American Academy of Pediatrics recommend masks indoors for everyone, regardless of vaccination status. Dr. Janet Memark, District Health Director for Cobb & Douglas Public Health, said yesterday that masks are needed in schools. She also recommended that children with respiratory issues and chronic illnesses do not attend face to face.

CCSD is not currently allowing students to switch to the virtual option.

Rebecca Gaunt earned a degree in journalism from the University of Georgia and a master’s degree in education from Oglethorpe University. After teaching elementary school for several years, she returned to writing. She lives in Marietta with her husband, son, two cats, and a dog. In her spare time, she loves to read, binge Netflix and travel.