PLANO, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) – With 1,100 students currently battling COVID-19 in Plano ISD, there were pleas Tuesday night, Jan. 11 to require face masks.
Students told CBS 11, COVID-19 is having a major negative impact on their education because so many teachers are out sick with no substitutes available.READ MORE: Dallas Police Searching For 3 Juvenile Males Suspected Of Violently Abusing A Cat
It’s just one of the reasons a pro-mask group made a strong push for them at this meeting.
“Even just today there are so many teachers, five teachers in our own science department that are out with COVID and they don’t have enough substitutes and so we were crammed into a common area,” said Plano East Senior High student Simon Salinas.
The 17-year-old came to the Plano ISD board meeting to argue for a face mask requirement in schools.
“I feel very emotional when I walk down a hallway and see no one wearing a mask,” he said. “It’s impacted a big part of my life and I don’t want it to impact anyone else’s.”
The high school senior said his grandparents both died of COVID-19 only a month apart.READ MORE: At Resentencing Hearing ‘Tiger King’ Joe Exotic Gets One Less Year, Now Must Serve 21 Years In Prison
But those like Salinas who pushed for a mask mandate at Tuesday’s school board meeting were met with just as many who are opposed to it, like Karri Weadon and her two kids.
“When they had to wear a mask they came home crying because of headaches and they couldn’t breathe very well,” said Weadon. “I promised them they would never wear a mask again once we got rid of the mandate.”
Parents of special needs students like Robin Fuller say a face mask interferes with her son’s speech therapy.
“Now that we have a vaccine, I want my child to get the education he deserves,” said Fuller. “For him specifically that means no mask.”
The school board did not take any action on the mask issue because it was not on the agenda, but board members did discuss a recruiting plan for substitute teachers.MORE NEWS: Plano Police Arrest Adrien Javon Grant, 29, Accused Of Shooting Jesaias Hiram Nieves
The district was down 190 teachers on Tuesday.