Many Crawford County parents voice mask mandate frustrations

Parents Protest Crawford Countys School Mask Mandate


CRAWFORD COUNTY, Ks. – Friday’s Crawford County commissioners meeting was much livelier than usual, but that’s because commissioners were hearing from the public about USD 250’s new policy concerning masks in the classroom.

Last week the USD 250 school board announced that masks in class will be optional if Crawford County meets certain health requirements related to COVID-19.

While some people at the county commissioners meeting supported the new policy, many parents in attendance felt that student mask-wearing should be 100% their choice.

“Give parents the option. I don’t care if you send your kid in a hazmat suit. We want the option, just like you have the option to get a shot whether you believe in that or not. Let’s just make it simple. We’ve been dealing with this long enough. We should know by now, and (it should be a) personal choice,” said Corey Raider, a Girard parent who addressed the county commissioners during the meeting’s public comments.

Crawford County Commissioner Jeremy Johnson says he understands parent concerns and got the impression that many of them are worried school mask mandates will always be present in Crawford County. But he says recent data concerning the Coronavirus in Crawford County doesn’t back up those fears.

“Our numbers have gone down considerably. I’ve not seen the final ones because they’ve not been released yet for this week, but as of yesterday, we only had 17 new cases in the county which is half of what they were the week prior. And this is after a week of students not being required to wear masks in schools. That’s promising data going forward,” said Commissioner Johnson.

While the majority of public comments focused on masks in the classroom, some meeting attendees also let commissioners know they thought the county’s quarantine policy was cumbersome and heavy handed.

You can read about USD 250’s new mask-optional policy here.

You can watch Friday’s public comments and all of the Crawford County commissioners meeting here.