Parents are pulling their kids from schools over mask policies

Published: Aug. 24, 2021 at 8:00 PM CDT
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VESTAVIA HILLS, Ala. (WBRC) - Some parents are pulling their kids out of school because of school district’s policies on masking.

One Vestavia Hills father said he’s going to put his daughters in a private school starting Wednesday because the district has adopted a mask optional policy and he doesn’t feel comfortable with that decision.

“I go with science, and I believe that the masks at least bring the risks down to the children.”

Robbie Caponetto said he and his wife have been agonizing over the district’s decision to keep masks optional this school year.

“Kind of taken aback and not ready for that. We thought everyone was in agreement, and once they started that, that started our quest to see what our other options were in the schools,” Caponetto said.

He has two daughters aged six and ten.

They’re not yet old enough to get the COVID-19 vaccine, which is why he was hoping the district would require masks.

“It just doesn’t make sense to have our children exposed on a daily basis at school. Last year, we went the entire year, everyone was masked up and we never missed a day of school. We never had strep throat, we never had the stomach bug, we had a perfect year,” Caponetto explained.

According to the VHCS COVID-19 Dashboard, a total of 126 students have tested positive for COVID since August 10th, and 304 students were at home because of COVID exposure.

Caponetto said taking his children out of the district was one of the hardest decisions he and his wife have ever had to make but keeping his daughters safe was top of mind.

“Yesterday’s school board meeting was basically our last chance to see if they were going to maybe just change their minds. We felt a little backed into a corner. We just happened to call this school and they happened to have two spots for our kids, so it just kind of worked out. I don’t know what we would have done if they didn’t have the spots,” Caponetto said.

Caponetto added if school leaders had had a change of heart and went to a mask mandate they would consider going back to the district.

He said he loves the Vestavia Hills School District and doesn’t want to have to completely uproot his family, so they’ll have to play it by ear moving forward.

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