Sara Lemmon of Sapulpa said her thoughts on masks have changed after her 6-year-old daughter tested positive for COVID-19 only four days into the school year.
When Sapulpa Public Schools opened up on Thursday, her children went without masks, but she said that won’t happen again.
“They will be wearing a mask, whether they want to or not,” Lemmon said. ” It’s something that I see as a parent, it is preventing this from going around.”
Lemmon said her children wore masks when they went to school last year because they were required.
Her family hasn’t viewed masks as necessary during the pandemic but after her daughter tested positive for the virus, she started thinking about last year when all students were wearing masks.
“Last year, my kids didn’t get it in school,” she said. “I think that it is helping the kids because kids don’t social distance. You can’t social distance 20 to 30 kids in a classroom.”
Lemmon also noticed how more children are being impacted by the delta variant but when her daughter came home with a cough, she didn’t think much about it.
When her daughter’s cough started to get worse, she took her to an urgent care.
The strep throat test came back negative and the COVID-19 test came back positive.
Lemmon said her daughter immediately started crying and said she didn’t want to die.
“It’s just, you know, gut-wrenching to think that my daughter could pass it along to somebody that could be ending up in the hospital,” said Lemmon.
According to the school district’s online data tracker, there are 17 current cases among students and staff.
The Sapulpa Public School District is strongly encouraging masks for all students and staff members. The district has enough masks for anyone who needs one in a classroom or on a bus.
After seeing more children come down with the virus, including her daughter, Lemmon thinks schools should require masks.
“For anybody that does know me, that’s excruciatingly shocking for me to say yes, I think schools need mandated masks,” said Lemmon.
“They need that protection. They can’t social distance. They can’t protect themselves in a crowded classroom, even if it’s a standard 20 kid classroom, there’s 20 kids in a class. You can’t prevent everything, but it will definitely help,” she said.
A state law prevents schools from mandating masks for students but Lemmon thinks Governor Stitt should reconsider the rule.
“I think the governor should look at least making mandatory masks for children in schools, just in schools, if anything.”