LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — “My child! My choice!" is what hundreds of Clark County School District parents chanted while lining the street outside CCSD headquarters Wednesday.
Protesters were unhappy with school administrators following the directive from the governor requiring all students, faculty and staff to wear masks while in campus buildings and on school buses.
“I feel it's very important that parents have the right to govern their own children,” said Heidi Hardy, a CCSD parent who has chosen to homeschool her children this year because of school requirements.
Power2Parents Union organized the event. Union President Erin Phillips believes masks are protective on some level, but only if they’re used properly.
Phillips has five children, one with special needs. She says while her older kids are more tolerant of masks, her younger children struggle.
“I’m watching kids trying to wear these masks at school and they’re soaking wet,” said Phillips. “I watch them drop them on the playground, pick them up, put it back on their face. The range per kid, it’s really different per child.”
While pediatricians across the valley agree that masks aren’t 100% effective, they believe masks do slow transmission, especially since children are more prone to touching their faces where the virus can enter their bodies.
“The nose, the mouth, the eyes,” said local pediatrician Dr. Jim Andrus. “These are things that we’ve known for years, even before COVID that that’s how most of these viruses are spread.”
Doctors have seen an uptick in children becoming infected with coronavirus in Clark County as well as nationwide, partly because kids 12 and under are not yet eligible to get vaccinated.
“Even though their risks are a lot lower, as far as a bad outcome, they may be going home to someone who is unvaccinated that is at a much higher risk,” said Andrus.
Yet, some CCSD grandparents still don’t believe it’s up to elected officials or board trustees to interfere with how their children are raised.
“If a parent wants to put their child in a mask, that’s fine, but I think we all have a choice,” said grandparent Judy Leslie.
Along with practicing proper hygiene, doctors say it’s important children are honest with how they’re feeling. If a child is experiencing symptoms related to COVID-19 they should stay home.
DAILY DEBRIEF | Rachel Moore talks more about this story with Jason Dinant