Parents speak ahead of Providence School Board meeting on mask mandates
PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WLNE)- Parents, teachers, and community leaders spoke in front of the Providence School Board Wednesday evening– all in favor of the removal of the mask mandate in the school district.
Only Providence and Central Falls have upheld a mask policy up until now, after Governor McKee dropped the state-wide mandate on March 4th.
“You have two diverse cities still forcing this and the rest of the state has a choice? Discrimination,” said Rosa Aguiar, a parent in the Providence School District.
Javier Montanez, Acting Superintendent of Providence Public Schools gave the following statement to ABC 6 Wednesday evening:
“Masks have been one layer of our COVID response, along with providing access to vaccines and boosters, testing, air purifiers and sanitation, and providing information to families in the languages they speak at home. I’m proud to say the District’s daily COVID-19 cases are at their lowest level since the school year started and our vaccination rates are rising, so it is time to evaluate our mask policy. I will be engaging with students, families, staff, medical experts, and other stakeholders in the coming days to determine our path forward.”
Another Providence parent, Jennifer Lebeau, explained, “They want to be able to interact with their peers normally and the way a teenager does socially… take their feelings into consideration at this point.”
Montanez says they will begin to reevaluate moving forward, while continuing to monitor Covid-19 factors.