Olathe Public Schools parent challenges mask mandate

Olathe mask mandate hearing
Posted at 7:17 PM, Apr 06, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-06 20:18:34-04

OLATHE, Kan. — A father in the Olathe school district said his 10-year-old son should not have to wear a mask in school.

Josh Schneider spoke at a hearing that he requested under S.B. 40 with the Olathe Public Schools Board of Education that allows him to challenge the mask mandate.

Schneider said wearing a mask all day is too much for children to handle and that doing so causes headaches and breathing problems for his son. He added that his son already contracted COVID-19 earlier in the year and thinks his risk of contracting it again or spreading it is low.

"This medically based, tyrannical approach assuming everybody is sick until proven healthy is borderline criminal," Schneider said. With that said, I’m not asking the school board to rescind the mask mandate for everyone, just my son."

The district already has a mask exemption form that parents can fill out for their children.

Sharon Morris, the district's director of health services, informed the hearing officer of the school's policies, which they said have worked. The district also follows guidance from local and state health departments, as well as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Dr. Gary Morsch, a physician and founder of Heart to Heart International, also spoke at the hearing, backing up the district's policies.

Schneider and Morsch went back and forth about whether certain case studies about mask effectiveness are true or not.

The school board hired the hearing officer to conduct the initial hearings. Afterward, the hearing officer has one week to present the findings from both sides to the full Board of Education. At that point, the board will make a decision.