Trussville parent talks petition against masks in schools

Some parents are at odds with CDC advice.
Published: Jul. 28, 2021 at 9:58 PM CDT
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - While the CDC is recommending children mask up when they return to school, some parents are still deeply concerned about how masking will affect their child.

The common thread is that everyone involved wants what’s best for children after such a challenging school year last year.

Medical experts have weighed in and are in support with both the American Academy of Pediatrics and ADPH’s recommendation of masking in schools.

“We Alabama pediatricians want our children to be safe and not run the risk of developing this severe and potentially deadly virus and having potentially poor outcomes,” explained pediatrician and infectious disease specialist Dr. Karen Landers at the ADPH.

But there are parents who disagree, including Trussville parent Shain Armstrong.

Armstrong created a petition that has surpassed 600 signatures, opposing masks in Trussville schools. He says multiple concerns parents are outlined in his petition.

“They get dirty in terms of bacteria growth, mold growth, microfiber particles being breathed in, excess carbon dioxide that gets trapped, what are the long term effects, we don’t know and I certainly don’t want to find out,” Armstrong surmised.

While medical experts have refuted some of those concerns, Armstrong says the petition signers feel the risks of COVID are low, having killed 8 children under 17 in the state since the beginning of the pandemic. He accurately points out that most fatalities have occurred in older people with health conditions.

“I can’t see a justification, we can’t see a justification for putting a mask on a child for that reason,” Armstrong said.

Asked if his stance would change in the event cases in children rise: “If the coronavirus started significantly affecting children, of course my mind would change,” said Armstrong in part, reiterating that he feels the current evidence supports that children are largely unaffected by COVID.

In Alabama, more than 10,000 children between infancy and four-years-old have contracted COVID; more than 43,000 5-17-year-olds have contracted COVID per the ADPH dashboard.

Two pediatricians have said they welcome any parent to discuss the topic with them and that if a child has any issue breathing with a mask on, it could be a symptom of an underlying illness, so please take your child to a doctor to investigate further.

In a report aired on WBRC on Tuesday July 27, Dr. Gigi Youngblood explained why children should wear masks in school, and why optional masking is less effective than universal masking. Click here to view that report.

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