More than 1,200 parents and families have signed an online “letter of concern” asking the Arizona Department of Health Services to keep quarantine and mask regulations in place, despite new laws signed by Arizona Governor Doug Ducey.
The letter comes after Governor Ducey recently signed a law that prohibits school districts and charters from requiring masks during school hours on school property even if there is an outbreak of COVID-19 on campus.
In the letter, parents call the law “reckless and harmful” and say it prevents schools from “implementing common sense mitigation strategies.”
“We are concerned parents, grandparents, taxpayers, students, teachers, healthcare professionals, and community members who believe our school districts and charter schools must be able to protect students, many of whom are not yet eligible for vaccination, from the spread of COVID-19 while attending school,” the letter reads. “We implore Arizona Health Department Services (AHDS) to maintain temporary quarantine policies for exposed unvaccinated students in school settings to allow school districts to work with their local county health department in determining appropriate community control measures.”
The “Right to Safe Schools” letter goes on to ask that the department of health and the governor allow school officials to adhere to CDC guidelines for K-12 schools when it comes to coronavirus.
Some of these guidelines include masks being worn indoors by unvaccinated individuals, social distancing of at least three feet in classrooms, and students and staff quarantining when they have possibly been exposed to COVID-19.
If the state government does not allow schools to follow CDC recommendations, then parents will ask the Arizona Department of Education, the Arizona School Boards Association, and other student-focused groups to “pursue all remedies to the extent permitted by law” to stop the law signed by Governor Ducey, the letter says.
The letter ends by saying that parents and community members have the right to know students can attend safe schools and that school officials can make decisions that “best fit their community’s needs.”
To see the full letter, click here.