A school nurse spoke out against masking students at a Prior Lake school board meeting and then quit her job. In a video of the school board meeting, shared by Representative Erik Mortenson, the nurse said that what happened over the last year “goes against my beliefs and morals and against my oath as a mother and a nurse.”
The Prior Lake school nurse said that when she brought up her concerns during the 2020 school year, she had been told to “censor” her views on masking because of the “opinions” of others. “This offended me,” she shared, saying that she believes that they “failed” the children.
She said that the masking, distancing, and online learning made the children feel as if they were the problem. She said that the protocols used by the school said that the children were “responsible for the spread.”
The nurse also touched on having children wear masks during gym and recess, arguing that especially during those times masks “do more harm than good.” She expressed her frustration that “not one person” within the school’s administration would “stand up and say enough is enough.”
She said that she has loved her job, but that she could “no longer enforce the district’s policies of mask mandates, quarantines, and isolation” of students. She said she will not “harm the physical, mental, or emotional health of these children” any longer. She encouraged the administration and school board to “make the right choice” and not enforce the COVID rules any longer.
She finished her speech beseeching the board to “let the parents make the choices for the health and safety of their own children.”
An official statement from the Prior Lake school district on Thursday said that they will not be mandating masks for students at this point.
Superintendent Teri Staloch said, “We are a month away from school and we have been planning all summer and diligently looking at the data and reviewing and monitoring both what the CDC (Centers for Disease Control) and the Minnesota Department of Health have shared with us in regards to COVID-19 guidance. Additionally, we have and will continue to monitor district, counties, and state levels closely throughout the year as part of our decision-making process in addition to our regular communication with local and state health partners sharing data for a safe return to school for students and staff this fall.”
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Hayley Tschetter is a reporter with The Minnesota Sun | The Star News Network. Follow Hayley on Twitter or like her Facebook page. Send news tips to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Photo “Nurse” by Erik Mortensen.