Huntsville City Schools mandatory masking remains in place, despite all neighboring districts dropping mandates

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) – While most school districts in North Alabama now have optional masking, the Huntsville City School district is one of the only districts still requiring them.

Some Huntsville City School parents told News 19 they feel with the spread of COVID-19 in the community going down it’s time to drop the mask mandate.

HCS evaluates Madison County’s position on the Alabama Department of Public Health’s COVID-19 risk dashboard each week to determine if mandatory masking should continue in the school district. Parent, Sarah Thompson believes they should just look at HCS data.

“They have 29 cases of COVID positive people in the district, children and teachers. I’m assuming that’s under that too, and that is out of over 26,000 people,” said Thompson.

In a letter to parents, Superintendent Christie Finley says the district has followed public health guidance to make the best decisions for all stakeholders, but parents who oppose masking are growing tired of waiting.

“It’s time to stop hiding behind the phrase we are following the guidelines and actually do the job that they were elected to do. Which was to use their own minds to assess the situation and come up with the best policy for our students and our families,” said parent Joseph Holland.

Thompson said despite parents communicating through phone calls, emails, and board meetings, she feels parents who oppose mandatory masking for an extended time are not being heard.

“We are getting to the point where we are the very last school district to continue to mask our children and we have a serious problem with that,” says Thompson.

In her public letter, Finley said quote “New public health guidance is expected to be released soon that may include less restrictive masking recommendations as COVID-19 case numbers decline in many parts of the country,” hinting that changes could be coming to the district’s mask matrix.

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