Kansas City-area parents frustrated, concerned as back-to-school recommendations continue

Children Mask policy
Posted at 4:50 PM, Jul 20, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-20 18:09:49-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — For some parents in the Kansas City metro, following the continuous release of back-to-school recommendations has been a challenge.

“The recommendations are not the same, and it's hard to understand why it's not," Naunna Delgado-Walton, a mother of two, said. "If the research is there, then why are the recommendations so different?"

Delgado-Walton, like many parents, is frustrated and concerned as the school year nears with one child vaccinated, and one who is ineligible for a vaccine, both attending the same school.

“When you go to a school who has children who are and who are not [vaccinated], that makes the decision very, very hard," she said. "Especially if they are not split up. If the junior high is sixth, seventh and eighth, then you have one-third of your class that's not vaccinated."

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has recommended that unvaccinated students continue to wear masks in the classroom, as has the Johnson County Department of Health and Environment.

The Kansas City, Kansas, Public Schools Board of Education expected to take up the issue of masks at its meeting Tuesday night.

Isobel Delgado-Walton, Naunna's 14 year old, is an incoming freshman, and does not expect to see masks in the hallways this year.

“I think it’s annoying, but I think it’s safer," Isobel Delgado-Walton said. "If they tell us not to wear masks, I'll probably still wear mine, especially having people that are at home that are at risk, I think it’s the smart thing to do."

However, Laura Payne, a mother of two elementary-school aged children who both ineligible to get vaccinated, did expect to see more masks in school.

“It’s less confusing for me because it doesn't feel like there's a lot of nuance involved," Payne said, "because so few of the kids are even eligible to have that vaccine yet."

Both mothers said as more recommendations continue to change, it's important to do what's best for one's own family.

“I’m going to count on my children. I’m going to count on your children, I’m going to count on the teachers and the schools to make keeping each other healthy and safe a priority and just hope that our community can come together instead of being adversarial,” Payne said.

Naunna Delgado-Walton said the amount of information is "overwhelming."

“We are putting our trust in the school districts to make that decision and to follow all of those recommendations that are coming out,” she said.