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Parents and teachers weigh-in after Barry-Eaton Health Department issues mask mandate

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Published: Sep. 17, 2021 at 9:24 PM EDT|Updated: Sep. 17, 2021 at 10:58 PM EDT
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LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - If your child attends school in Eaton County, send them with a mask on Wednesday. The Barry-Eaton Health Department has announced two new mandates for school districts. Everyone in an educational setting must wear a mask indoors, regardless of vaccination status.

There’s a lot of mixed emotions surrounding the mandate. News 10 caught up with a parent and an educator who said it shouldn’t be up to the health department to make these decisions.

Kim Ellis echoed what many Charlotte parents are feeling after the Barry-Eaton District Health Department announced they will be implementing a mask mandate starting Wednesday.

She told News 10 she believes parents should be able to control if their child wears a mask or not. But she also said she prefers that to virtual learning.

“I do feel like it should be a choice. But, if they’re going to mandate it, then?” Ellis said. “If our kids are able to physically go to school and they’re fine with wearing masks, then I’m fine with them wearing them.”

Leah Warner is an advisor at Relevant Academy of Eaton County.

“Cases are rising, so it’s something we’re going to have to do,” she said.

Leah Warner said she supports mask mandates, but also said she believes it should be up to the individual school districts.

“Where I work our superintendent is very hands-on,” Warner said. “She’s in our building every day. She knows kids by name.”

Warner added that parents should be respectful of the school’s staff when it comes to mask mandates.

“I’ve heard parents blaming principals, saying ‘It’s the school’s fault we’re doing this’ when really it’s the superintendent or the health department making the decision,” Warner said. “The teachers and educators are going to do what they’re going to have to do. This is something we’re just going to have to do.”

The Barry-Eaton District Health Department says it has seen a significant uptick in cases among children. And because students under 12 cannot get a vaccine. They had to come to this decision.

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