A petition circulating online with the goal of persuading leaders to reinstate the mask mandate for students attending Metro Nashville Public School (MNPS) has gathered more than 1,000 signatures.

Earlier this month, the school system announced that students will have the option to wear masks, but they will not be required to.

MNPS also described that they will “monitor community transmission rates as well as COVID cases in our schools to determine whether mandatory mask requirements are necessary.”

However, the unknown organizer of the petition slammed this decision, calling it “alarming” and “shortsighted.”

“Metro Nashville Public Schools has decided to make masks optional for students and staff in the upcoming 2021-22 school year, regardless of vaccination status. This decision is alarming and shortsighted,” the petition says of the decision.

Additionally, the petition claims that all students should be required to wear masks because the Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have yet to recommend vaccination in children under 12.

“Optional masking for those who are unvaccinated is highly irresponsible and even more so given our community’s moderate vaccination rate. We are still in the midst of a pandemic; it has not ended yet. Until all of our children have the option of being vaccinated, we ask that MNPS please reconsider their stance on masking, and do the minimum to continue to keep our children safe,” the petition’s organizer wrote.

But, the rule implemented by the school system allows children or parents who are still concerned about the transmission of the coronavirus to continue to wear masks — while permitting others to opt not to.

Further, numerous studies have demonstrated that the risk for students of transmitting COVID-19 during in-person learning is low.

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Cooper Moran is a reporter for the Star News Network. Follow Cooper on Twitter. Email tips to cooperreports@gmail.com.