COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — The announcement from Columbus City Schools that masks will soon be optional is drawing mixed reactions.
The decision comes two days after Dr. Talisa Dixon, the district’s superintendent, said Columbus City Schools would determine an updated facemask policy as soon as possible. While exciting for some, the announcement is a cause of concern for others.
Daizhon Cox, a senior at South High School, said he’s thrilled that the district lifted its mask mandate because he likes to see people smile.
“Just really glad to be able to take them off just so I can be able to have a different feel with my peers, it’s really different behind masks,” Cox said.
A group of Cox’s peers recently had a discussion about what they thought should happen with the mask requirement. He said the group was split 50-50.
“I’m just glad knowing they are still going to be optional just for those students that aren’t comfortable taking off the masks and those teachers who aren’t comfortable that they will still able to wear those,” Cox said. “We should talk about those things at the school — just because a child wants to wear a mask, he shouldn’t be looked at differently.”
The notification was sent to the school community Thursday afternoon. Masks will be optional starting on Tuesday.
The new policy is not the news Molly Farrell and Jesse Schotter were hoping for.
“This just feels really fast and really soon,” Farrell said.
Farrell and Schotter have a daughter in kindergarten and a three-year-old daughter in pre-school, who is too young to be vaccinated, they said.
They said their biggest concern is that without universal masking, their older daughter will have a greater chance of getting COVID-19 and giving it to her younger sister.
“I feel like children under 5 and parents of children under 5 have been kind of forgotten through this whole process,” Schotter said.
They said their 3-year-old’s pre-school is still requiring masks and their 5-year-old will continue to wear one.
“I would have really just liked to have heard from other community members throughout Columbus City Schools and maybe talked about it a bit and had some input before this decision was made,” Farrell said.