Do you feel lost and without the resources you need as we send our kids back to school? Over the past few weeks, we’ve seen the CDC Guidance for COVID Prevention in Schools change, sometimes by the day. One moment we have local control, and schools should be allowed to decide what COVID mitigations should be in place only to be quickly reversed, and universal masking precautions have now been put in place. Follow this guide to help you make informed decisions as your kids start school.
1. This battle is NOT for KIDS alone
We are fighting a complex battle that is not suited for our kids to fight alone at school. The tactics being used by those in power have been used on the battled field for centuries – more on this later. Take a moment and reflect – we as adults can not even comprehend “why” mitigation measures are changing so frequently. Kids are not equipped to fight this battle. They will be fighting both administrative (school policies) and governmental regulations (executive orders) that are complex.
2. You are FIGHTING Multiple Battles
I wish it were as easy as saying you can focus your attention on ONLY one of the following: district administrators, school board, Governor’s office, or legislators. However, this battle is complex, and it’s by design. In Illinois, the Governor has created an executive order which we believe is a non-biding resolution mandating masks, but that may not be the primary focus. Even if the order is non-binding and local school boards agree to enact the order, the Governor’s office knows school boards have local control and could argue the school boards implemented the restrictions. Also, we have district administrators mandating masks stating they are a “dress code”. They have created a complex issue for us as parents, and we must learn how each of our districts responds to make informed decisions. Each district has a different battle plan. You must come together as a community to understand the issues in your district.
3. Know what you have SIGNED
Did I opt into testing? Did I opt out of testing? Did I voluntarily agree to be quarantined when I registered?
Make sure you take the time to read the fine print. You must give informed consent to agree to COVID testing in school. Some districts have been sly and have automatically enrolled every student into COVID screenings, and the burden is on the parent to Opt-Out. Make sure you know what you have agreed to.
Also, in Illinois, you have a legal right to have the school district seek a court order of quarantine for a possible exposure to COVID. Make sure you check your registration paperwork to ensure you did not agree to voluntary quarantine when you registered your student.
Download our COVID Testing and Quarantine Opt-Out Form
4. I feel my legal RIGHTS have been violated
We would first encourage you to seek legal advice. However, you have a few resources outside of that. We have heard horror stories of school districts not honoring medical exemptions and telling parents your doctor’s note does not matter! The school could assume some liability when they REFUSE to discuss or honor your physician’s orders.
Also, some parents have exercised their choice of medical freedom, which has resulted in their kids being forcefully removed from school. We would encourage all Illinois residents to file a complaint with the Illinois Department of Human Rights.