‘I’m terribly afraid’: Student after district doesn’t require masks

Published: Aug. 1, 2021 at 5:46 PM EDT|Updated: Aug. 1, 2021 at 6:16 PM EDT
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - Families in the Oldham County school district said the decision to not require masks for the upcoming year was made with their children not in mind.

The families of 12-year-old Cassidy Stocker, and 14-year-old Abigail Lee are just some speaking out against a decision to not mandate mask for the new school year.

The households were bought together after both girls were diagnosed with brain cancer during the pandemic.

“I have to get swabs,” Cassidy Stocker said. “I have to have my blood drawn. I need antibiotics. I need chemo. I throw up. It’s not fun and it’s scary.”

Last year, the girls were taught away from the classroom and both parents said they felt supported by the district.

“I’m happy with the way they handled my son’s ADHD and my daughter’s health conditions prior to the pandemic,” Shannon Stocker, Cassidy’s mother said.

However, the plan to return children back to school without a mask mandate is causing alarm. Especially as each family has other children under the age of 12 in the district.

“It’s this risk of, if he is wearing a mask,” John Lee, Abigail’s father said. “That’s one barrier, but if he’s surrounded by hundreds of kids, teachers and staff without masks, someone is carrying the virus and that’s risks.”

Last week, the district said it will leave the decision to wear masks up to parents.

“Masks today are what we need to protect not just our children but all the children,” Stocker said.

Both families have concern the absence of masks means increase in the spread of COVID-19.

“It’s scary to think that something could end up admitting me for more than I need for just chemo,” Cassidy said.

Cassidy said going to school and being around her peers helps her to cope. While she does have some fear of what a COVID-19 infection would mean for her, she’s concerned about others.

“I’m terribly afraid that I could bring something into the cancer institute and make someone else sick,” Cassidy said.

The families say they are not trying to take anything away from anyone, they just want all to be safe. They’ve made calls to the district and even sent emails with more than 150 signatures in support.

Virtual learning is not an option this year within the district.

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