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SchoolWatch: Grants Pass parents push back on mask mandates

Some parents have already decided to pull their children out of Grants Pass schools.

Posted: Aug 4, 2021 9:46 PM
Updated: Aug 5, 2021 12:02 PM

GRANTS PASS, Ore. -- The Grants Pass School District is still deciding on what its mask guidance will be for the fall semester when school returns this month.

In the meantime, parents are letting their voices be heard, many expressing that they would perfer that their children not be required to wear a mask.

Some other parents have taken a stronger stance, pulling their children out of the Grants Pass school system entirely.

As of right now, the Oregon Department of Education is fining schools $500 a day per violation for each day a school does not enforce mask recommendations.

Rhett Fieldsted is a Grants Pass parent, health professional, and creator of the Facebook page, "Open Grants Pass/Josephine County Schools." He told Newswatch 12 that, with a vaccine that is effective, there should not be any overreaching from state and federal government officials and Covid-19 guidance should be handled on the local level.

"In the medical community, the negatives of masking children are either ignored or down-played," said Fieldsted. "They're real, but it's a difficult argument so they're able to utilize that fear to ensure that these things are being followed. But I don't have any fear, at all, of my children going to the school."

Fieldsted says masking and online schooling is the only learning experience his kindergarten age son has had. He added his child sometimes came home afraid to remove his mask since he was required to wear one at school.

He says he does not blame teachers for enforcing the rules, but before a decision is made, he wishes for those making mandates to take all data into account.

Newswatch 12 is continuing to follow this story as the Grants Pass School District and other districts across the Rogue Valley decide on what their next steps for students and staff will be.

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

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Cases: 313161

Reported Deaths: 3594
CountyCasesDeaths
Multnomah51245642
Washington34995276
Marion32577393
Clackamas26570271
Lane23989246
Jackson20977257
Deschutes16623102
Umatilla12602125
Douglas10712188
Linn1046886
Josephine8659165
Yamhill744999
Klamath643491
Polk623570
Malheur479467
Benton461927
Coos412069
Columbia324237
Jefferson313746
Lincoln276330
Union272737
Wasco239039
Crook212338
Clatsop211725
Tillamook181523
Baker174421
Morrow167921
Curry166817
Hood River163035
Harney78916
Grant7558
Lake6768
Wallowa50811
Gilliam1374
Sherman1283
Wheeler651
Unassigned00

California Coronavirus Cases

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Cases: 4644566

Reported Deaths: 68019
CountyCasesDeaths
Los Angeles144512125852
Riverside3579884804
San Diego3495814009
San Bernardino3472035506
Orange3146225354
Sacramento1503072089
Santa Clara1405641841
Fresno1358611888
Kern1358421515
Alameda1162141329
Ventura976901120
San Joaquin973871615
Contra Costa95727924
Stanislaus806991234
Tulare72969896
San Mateo52239607
San Francisco51907605
Monterey49465565
Solano44151312
Santa Barbara43112500
Sonoma39441378
Merced39370535
Placer36487364
Imperial34261755
Kings30124284
San Luis Obispo28300313
Madera21707258
Butte21307230
Shasta20683276
Santa Cruz20151211
Yolo19143239
Marin17106242
El Dorado16004127
Sutter13094153
Napa1226895
Yuba926061
Nevada847685
Humboldt829587
Tehama823784
San Benito709067
Mendocino685575
Lassen637627
Tuolumne615393
Lake603687
Amador492259
Glenn398030
Siskiyou389541
Calaveras342266
Del Norte336034
Colusa290918
Inyo166539
Mono14935
Plumas12406
Mariposa99712
Trinity72010
Modoc6278
Sierra1980
Unassigned1650
Alpine1000
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