Parents share mixed reaction to mask-optional policy in Fayette County Public Schools

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Posted at 1:05 PM, Mar 15, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-15 13:05:34-04

LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — Kids in Fayette County Public Schools are no longer required to wear masks at school or on the bus, a decision announced by superintendent Dr. Demetrus Liggins Monday night.

“Some of our students will see their teachers' faces for the first time,” he told reporters during a Zoom interview.

Dr. Liggins says health department officials believe the move is safe and some parents and advocates applauded the move.

When it comes to masks, Dawne Perkins of Kentucky Kids Matter has advocated for parent choice since the beginning of the pandemic. She says she was thrilled to hear about the district’s new mask policy.

“I’m ecstatic for the kids of Fayette County,” she said. “I know there were a lot of happy kids, because our groups blew up in celebration.”

But other parents aren’t so sure.

We spoke with Lisa Clark outside Lexington Traditional Magnet School as she dropped off her student Tuesday morning. She says she’s not comfortable with the timing of the decision, so her child will stay masked up.

“I just feel safer right now,” she said. “More time, more time.”

It’s not just adults feeling cautious.

“As we were leaving out the door, he heard on the news it was optional,” said Elizabeth Rudd, a grandmother of a child who attends William Wells Brown Elementary School. “But he also asked me, ‘Nanny, I wanna go ahead and wear my mask. I'm not feeling too good today, and not sure if it's just allergies.’ Which it probably is, but he wanted to be on the safe side.”

Dr. Liggins said no matter what families choose to do, district officials want students to feel supported. They adopted an initiative titled “Either way, it’s ok” – a reminder to be kind during another big change for Fayette County kids.