Cobb County Schools upholds mask-optional policy amid passionate pleas on both sides

COBB COUNTY, Ga. — More than 200 concerned parents on both sides of the mask issue rallied outside Cobb County School District headquarters Thursday night as the superintendent chose to uphold the current mask-optional policy.

After a surge in COVID-19 cases in the classroom, many parents called on the school board to institute a mask mandate.

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“I’m a very concerned mom. I’ve had enough! I’m someone who follows science,” parent Mollie Moudden said.

“My kid’s health is very important. At that point there, I’m going to do what it takes for my kid’s health,” said parent Kevin Johnson, who supports a mask mandate.

But not everyone at the meeting agreed with that sentiment.

“Children don’t need to wear muzzles. They need to be children,” said parent Dana Cobb.

“It’s really making kids struggle to learn in elementary school, they’re struggling and they can’t understand what their teachers are saying!,” said parent Tracy Cullo.

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Many parents also took their passion into the meeting that was standing room only. Dozens more were forced to watch on screens in the lobby.

All but one speaker during public comments called on the school board to require students and teachers to don masks.

“I was supposed to start middle school this year. However, because of your policy, my mother had to choose the safest option for me and pulled me from face to face,” said 11-year-old Alex Judge.

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Despite all the passionate pleas, Superintendent Chris Ragsdale opted to strongly encourage masks, but leave the policy as it is: not requiring them to be worn.

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