The Des Moines Public Schools Board of Directors, Superintendent Ahart and principals at our schools have been working through inboxes full of email from worried parents, guardians and employees asking for universal mask usage in our schools to protect their children from the COVID-19 Delta variant. Unfortunately, there is only one way DMPS can mandate universal masking… with the permission of Governor Kim Reynolds.
Please see the following statement from Dwana Bradley, DMPS School Board Chair.
In accordance with Iowa law, the DMPS Board of Directors will not be issuing a mask mandate for the start of the 2021-22 school year.
We realize many parents have concerns. We are also concerned about the potential for the spread of the COVID-19 Delta variant, especially among our unvaccinated elementary school students. The CDC and the American Academy of Pediatrics recommend universal masking in schools for both vaccinated and unvaccinated people. It is abundantly clear to the experts that when everyone wears a mask, we keep kids healthy and in school, and most importantly we save lives as we wait for the vaccine to become available to our children.
However, the Governor of Iowa and the state legislature have created a law that restricts us from using our most effective tool short of vaccination in the fight against COVID – universal masking. The Governor is the only person who can give us permission to use universal masking to protect everyone as the Delta variant surges in Iowa. So far, the Governor has declined to do so, and she has given us no indication of how many children will need to be infected before she will consider allowing us to use this essential resource.
Remember: wearing is caring. Listen to the health experts and do the right thing for your child and their young friends. Please mask up in school.
A Message from DMPS Board Chair Dwana Bradley