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.

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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.

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10 Comments on "Parents plan to rally for mask mandate in Cobb County schools Thursday"

  1. Good article, but what is the Facebook group mentioned?
    “In less than 24 hours, a Facebook group dedicated to the cause grew to more than 1,000 members.”

  2. Cobb County Parent | August 11, 2021 at 10:33 am | Reply

    I am a Cobb County school parent who has a Kindergarten child who contracted COVID within 3days of school. I reaches out to the Principal and Cobb County District assistance Superintendent and they both refused to not provide a virtual option but also refused provide any information on virtual or homeschool options that Cobb County Schools recognizes or maybe even partners with. No help at all. No compassion. I have an email thread from the principal and assistant superintendent showing their lack of concern or compassion. I was also told by the school nurse that the person who infected my daughter was showing symptoms for two days and before confirming they werw positive and parents were only notified when the test came back not at the onset of symptoms. Our family is in self quarantine and wont join the rally but would be there if that weren’t the case.

  3. A child is going to die, or a vulnerable parent or grandparent will. It’s all a matter of time. CHOA ICU is full or was earlier this week. This behavior by Cobb county is the most irresponsible behavior I’ve witnessed in my 67 years of living by an entity that should be doing all it can to protect our children and their families. It’s criminal. The school district and school board should be sued!

  4. My child attends a Cobb County school and I’m happy there are no mask mandates. I have been vaccinated and that’s enough. My children breathe freely and openly. Also, there are over 110,000 students in CC so 1000 FB followers is nil.

  5. Covid doesn't kill kids | August 12, 2021 at 12:18 am | Reply

    Stop muzzling children. Stop demanding authoritarian mandates. Fewer than 400 children have died of Covid-19 in the entire United States (which has over 75 million children), and 100% of those had other serious health issues. The most recent swine flu outbreak had 5x the child morbidity rate than Covid-19 and we did not have anyone crying for mask mandates then. If you’re afraid then put your own child in a mask, but you will not dictate how my children must live.

    • I truly struggle to understand the resistance to masks. No one is trying to muzzle anyone. No one is trying to take anyone’s freedom. Masks reduce the spread of the virus – anyone who says differently is simply not telling the truth.
      You say Covid doesn’t kill kids and then say fewer than 400 kids were killed by Covid (the number is actually 423 per CDC website). While it’s not true that all of the children had pre-existing conditions, I agree that the majority of them did. But considering asthma and obesity are some of the pre-existing conditions, it’s safe to say that there are a large number of kids in the Cobb school system that have pre-existing conditions. Also, those 400+ children are just the ones that died – that doesn’t include the number that were hospitalized and on ventilators. It also doesn’t include the number of teachers (3 of which died from Covid already in Cobb county) or family. By the way, the swine flu in 2009 killed 12,469 people in the US in total and Covid to date has killed over 619,000 people (over 21,000 in Georgia alone). That’s why there wasn’t a mask mandate during the swine flu.

      I get it, no one wants to wear a mask. I don’t like wearing them and my kids dislike them even more, but if wearing a mask reduces the chances of spreading this virus, I’m all for it. I don’t mean this to be contentious and I know I probably won’t change your mind but please just think about the very simple act of having children wear a mask while indoors to reduce the spread of this virus.

  6. Why do they make my kid wear a swim diaper in the public pool? I as a parent should have the freedom to choose. My kid does not like to wear them and no one has died.

    • Your kid shouldn’t have to wear diapers. I saw a video that said they don’t work. Let the other kids wear diapers if they’re worried.

  7. Those parents are fools. Quit being sheep and listening to the media. Make your own decision. No one should be forced and controlled to wear a mask when it isn’t even proven necessary. People who wear masks can still get COVID and you know what? They will get over it. Life goes on just like for those that get the flu.

    • Yea man you said it. A friend of my brother said he read on the INTERNET that covid is not real and no one has died. He said the shot will give you rabies. It must be true because he said the guy was a doctor or something.

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