Parents divided after Cuyahoga County school board reverses mask policy

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ROCKY RIVER, Ohio (WJW) – Parents are divided in one local school district after the school board reversed the course and decided on a mask mandate for students K through grade 6 for the upcoming school year.

“It makes me upset,” said Cindy Finch-Hill of Rocky River. She’s among the parents who expressed opposition after the Rocky River School Board met Wednesday night to decide the district’s mask policy for the upcoming school year.

“If I want my child to go to school with a mask on, I should be able to make that decision. I don’t think the school board should be making that decision for me,” said Finch-Hill.

The district confirmed Thursday that masks will be required for students in kindergarten through fifth grade for the first quarter.

Masks are recommended for 6th through 12th grades.

Finch-Hill has a 7th and a 4th grader.

“Let us make that choice. That should be our decision,” said Finch-Hill.

Ashley Sova is among the parents in support of the mask requirement for young children.

“Kids younger than 12 don’t have the opportunity for this protection, so the best thing we can do to protect our kids is to follow science,” said Sova.

Sova has a 1st and 2nd grader who she says both wore masks this summer.

“They don’t mind it. They love their friends, they want to protect their friends. They recognize how important it is,” said Sova.

FOX 8 reached out to the Rocky River School District, who declined to go on camera. However, a spokesperson said the board will be voting on the policy at next Thursday’s business meeting.

According to the school board, the mask mandate would apply indoors and to all other people in the building.

“It’s hard to feel like we aren’t able to make decisions for our own kids, but when it could potentially be at the expense of other kids, that is where you have to draw the line,” said Sova.

“I want my kids to have a normal school year. That’s all,” added Finch-Hill.

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