Coronavirus

Some HSE parents call for mask mandate, claim poor communication of district, health department

FISHERS, Ind. (WISH) — Less than 24 hours before Hamilton Southeastern students go back to school, some parents on Tuesday called on the district to put a mask mandate in place.

Right now, face coverings are recommended but not required in HSE classrooms, but dozens of parents told News 8 there is a lack of communication between the district and the Fishers Health Department.

Some parents shared emails between them and the district’s superintendent, as well as a Facebook comment where the health department recommended a mask requirement:

But one parent said she got an email from HSE’s superintendent saying that’s not the guidance the schools were given.

“The CDC said it’s not safe, the Fishers Health Department says it’s not safe, the State Department of Health says it’s not safe. I don’t know what to do. My son literally was like, ‘I’m so excited to start tomorrow and everything within me is screaming to not let him walk through those doors,'” said a mom who asked conceal her identity for fear of backlash.

She said the mask debate has become ugly in the district.

“We have a very loud, strong, kind of anti-mask, anti-vax community in the area,” she said.

Parent Michael McMann is not afraid to share his opinion publicly.

“I feel like I’m throwing my child to the wolves. He’s been healthy, we’ve all been healthy and now tomorrow he’s going to be around 1,000 kids in his school that all cannot be vaccinated,” said McMann.

News 8 reached out to both the Fishers Health Department and Hamilton Southeastern Schools. The health department had not responded on Tuesday night. HSE Schools sent this statement eceived a response from the school district.

“In accordance with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Indiana State Department of Health and Fishers Health Department, we are recommending that teachers, staff and students wear a mask indoors. We updated our previous language that said masks were ‘encouraged’ to be more aligned with what health experts are sharing with us. We will continue to rely on data provided by HSE Department of Staff and Student Services, our local, state and federal health officials regarding COVID positivity rates, which could require us to alter our plan as needed.

You can look at our full plan here: https://www.hseschools.org/happenings/return-to-in-person-instruction-plan.”

Hamilton Southeastern Schools

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