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Opinion | No masking it: some school districts get failing grade when it comes to protecting students and teachers against COVID-19 | Richard Ransom

“By leaving it up to parents, you'll have some worried enough to insist their kids wear masks, and anti-vaxxers will insist their kids don't.”

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — In Wednesday’s Ransom Note, it's past time to put our children first in the fight against COVID-19.

There are disturbing numbers across the Mid-South one in five --sometimes one in four-- of all new COVID cases these days are 18 and younger. Pediatric cases have doubled over the past several weeks and don't forget any child 12 or under cannot get vaccinated, so they're walking into class unprotected.

But with the exception of Shelby County Schools, every school district in the Memphis area won't even require masks. You do know how this will play out, right? By leaving it up to parents, you'll have some worried enough to insist their kids wear masks and anti-vaxxers will insist their kids don't.

So, thanks to what can only be described as a lack of courage and leadership by Arlington, Bartlett, Collierville, DeSoto County, Germantown, Lakeland, Millington and many other school officials, we are knowingly putting our children and teachers at risk for dealing with the same situation as the superintendent in Marion, Arkansas. Not to mention, kids being kids, the bullying we know will happen as the mask wearers get ganged up on, or vice versa. I thought educators were smarter than this.

Join the conversation by email (rransom@localmemphis.com), Facebook, or Twitter.

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