Parents speak out about masking recommendations for Crawford County Schools

Local News

Parents who spoke to JET 24 have a difference of opinion when it comes to masking their kids in school.

Some said it’s great that, for now, it’s recommended, but others are taking it as far as asking their own kids to wear it in school if Crawford County schools won’t make it a requirement.

For those schools in Crawford County, it is highly recommended for students who are not vaccinated to wear face masks, but it is not required.

However, students and staff must wear masks while riding the school bus by CDC mandate.

“I really like our school district,” said Jenn Barickman, a parent in the Penncrest School District. “I really like our teachers. Either way, my kids will go to school with or without a mask.”

Highly recommended does not mean mandatory, and Elizabeth Knicely took it a step further, asking her kids to wear it even though it’s not required.

“The numbers are starting to spike more,” Knicely said. “I kind of planned on having my kids wear them, whether the school said yes or no.”

Knicely’s daughter, Emma, is an 11th grader at Meadville High School. She said wearing a mask is comfortable for her.

“I think it’s a good idea,” Emma said. “It will help people from getting sick. I really agree with it.”

However, if the optional masking turns into a requirement, for some, that is crossing a line people are not comfortable with.

“I really feel like it should be up to the parents,” Barickman said. “I respect our schools and know that they have a lot on their shoulders in making that decision. But, ultimately, I feel like the parent should be making that call.”

Others, meanwhile, are leaving it up to the teachers’ decision.

“If the teachers really want all the students wearing them, I don’t want it to be, ‘this one can, this one can’t,'” said Georgette Bennett, whose daughter attends Neason Hill Elementary School. “So, the teacher can make that call for her.”

Parents said they will keep a close eye on the cases of COVID-19 to see if the transmission rate changes any policies for masks in the school.

For most of the schools in Crawford County, the students’ first day is at the end of August or the first week of September.

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