Home Faculty meeting Outcry from Teacher and Parent Leads Cayucos School Board to Rescind Let Them Breathe Resolution | News | San Luis Obispo

Outcry from Teacher and Parent Leads Cayucos School Board to Rescind Let Them Breathe Resolution | News | San Luis Obispo


Jake Rideout has been a librarian at Cayucos Elementary School for the past nine years and has taught a STEAM course for the past six. But when the school district board passed a Let Them Breathe resolution last month, Rideout made the decision to leave the district.

“I loved this school,” she said New times. “It was such a small community, everyone knew everyone. A class of kids goes from kindergarten to grade eight which is such a magical thing.”

Despite her otherwise positive experience, Rideout said she couldn’t sit idly by when she learned the resolution, which called on the state to remove COVID-19 masking requirements in schools, was passed. .

“We haven’t heard a word about [the resolution] until August 2 when the ParentSquare [notification] came out with the information, â€Rideout said.

Two days later, at the board meeting on August 4, the resolution was passed.

“The teachers really felt blinded by this,†Rideout said.

A few days later, she quit.

“I knew if the board was supporting this trail I wasn’t going to come back,†said Rideout.

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  • File photo by Jayson Mellom
  • MASKS ON After hearing from a number of disgruntled parents, the Cayucos Elementary School District Board of Directors voted to quash the Let Them Breathe resolution.

A month after the resolution was passed, the Cayucos Elementary School District board of directors unanimously rescinded it at a board meeting on September 8. But before it was repealed, board chairman Chris Castillo confirmed in a September 1 email that the board followed through on the resolution’s commitment to “plead in writing to of the CRPD [California Department of Public Health] remove mandatory requirements for preventive measures such as masks, quarantine and asymptomatic testing. ”

Castillo also said New times that there is 100 percent compliance with the masking rules.

Some parents say the opposite. Cayucos’ relative, Paul Andreano, called Castillo’s statement “100% false”.

“There has been no 100% compliance at Cayucos School with the mask warrant,†Andreano said in a September 2 email. “There have been cases of teachers not wearing masks as well as entire classes not wearing them indoors.… They are not following the guidelines of the CRPD as they would have you believe.”

Parent Erika Torres made similar allegations. She said New times that when she picked up her son from the district’s after-school program (ASP), the masks were not being worn.

“At the ASP, there were three occasions where… there was a lack of masking and compliance, a lack of following California Department of Public Health guidelines that I personally observed, and I did. have responded every time, â€Torres said. “Finally, after the third week of school, I told the principal that I was no longer sending my son to ASP because I was worried about his safety.”

Parent Craig Owens said at the September 8 board meeting that there were already cases of COVID-19 in his children’s classrooms.

“My son’s seventh grade class, five of his classmates are in quarantine. Two are confirmed positive for COVID, and at least one is already ill with fever and sore throat,†Owens said. “My daughter’s fifth-grade class, at least one child is in quarantine. My unvaccinated 10-year-old daughter’s teacher was giving class mask breaks to herself and her students until I left. complains to the principal and the teacher herself. ”

Owens said New times that he does not blame the faculty. He thinks the responsibility lies with the leadership of the board.

“When they pass a resolution like Let Them Breathe, it gives the impression that masking shouldn’t be taken seriously,†Owens said. “If people are on the fence, they’re going to look to leadership to set an example.”

But, Owens added, “It really makes me feel good” that the resolution was rescinded.

“It’s great that it’s canceled because it means, at the very least, any teacher or faculty on the fence can say, ‘Hey, they canceled this, so I’ll wear mine then'”, Owens said. “Maybe this will influence someone.”

Owens added that when he brought the mask violation to the attention of the school administration, the situation was quickly corrected.

“I feel like the teachers and the principal are doing a really good job of listening to our concerns,†Owens said. “I think it is very difficult to be the masked police.… I can honestly say that they listened to me and I really appreciate their efforts. I feel that my concerns have not fallen on their ears. ‘a deaf one. ”

When asked to respond to parents’ complaints about mask compliance, board chairman Castillo said, “I haven’t heard anything that makes me change my original statement.”

Andreano, Torres, Owens and dozens of other parents attended the September 8 reunion. The board voted 5-0 to cancel Let Them Breathe, although some board members expressed that they still supported the concepts of mask choice and local control promoted by the resolution.

Parents who spoke at the meeting were divided: Seven people in the public comments supported rescinding the resolution, while six expressed support for parts of the resolution like the choice of mask, choice vaccine and local control.

Parent Alisha Enns supported parenting choice.

“If you want to hide your child, then I 100% respect your right as a parent to make this decision for your family, just as I respect your decision to have your child vaccinated,†Enns said. “What I will not respect is your request that I do the same for my children. … A void vote shows weakness and a willingness to fall back on beliefs.”

As New times SLO County Schools Superintendent Jim Brescia reported on September 2 that the first reports from the schools since the reopening show membership in masking across the county. SLO County Public Health Department spokeswoman Michelle Shoresman said schools face significant legal, financial and other risks if they fail to meet masking requirements.

Former librarian Rideout said she felt for people on both sides of the debate. But she maintains her decision to resign.

“I feel for parents who want to protect their children from all the mental health consequences of wearing a mask – I feel this situation,†Rideout said. “But I also believe that the actual physical safety of the students is paramount. I encourage parents to keep this in mind, that the greatest good is to wear masks at this time.” ??

Contact editor Malea Martin at [email protected]


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