I am so disappointed in the area school districts that are choosing not to enforce a mask mandate for grades K – 12 in our Polk County School systems. According to the CDC, the Delta Variant is spreading quickly and now accounts for 93% of all COVID cases in the United States. The CDC is recommending all schools require masks for students in grades K – 12.

I have heard from some parents and read in the paper that some of our schools have decided to make masks optional in school, against the science-based recommendation from the CDC. In my opinion, that is a recipe for disaster because now you have kids deciding what is best for them and their families. Those decisions will be based on peer pressure and I am guessing, will lean towards not wearing masks. I believe these decisions from the schools are based on the political beliefs of the parents and sometimes those in charge, rather than the scientific data coming from our public health system.

Unfortunately, this pandemic has become a political issue rather than an issue that unites us all to do what is best for our neighbors and our community. I recently heard the term “toxic individuality” to describe the movement of this nation away from what is best for all to what is best for me. It’s heartbreaking actually and has caused this pandemic to continue to take lives in this country.

I expect more from our school leaders. It’s time you send a message to the political pressures from parents and simply say, we will do what is best for the community and follow the science. We will follow the CDC recommendations which are based on scientists who are continuously monitoring this situation and making recommendations to try and keep us all safe. We will follow the science period, end of the discussion.

To the parents who don’t want their kids to wear a mask – keep your kids at home. The families who are willing to follow the CDC guidelines should not be required to keep their children at home to protect them from those who refuse to cooperate for the good of our neighbors and community.


Ann Turner

St. Croix Falls

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