I’m writing to share the story of my 14-year-old daughter’s experience. My daughter is a transplant recipient. The medication she must take as a result makes her immunocompromised.
When the mask mandate was dropped, we worried. Masks were the only remaining protection in her classroom. We know that she would still mask, but we also know that masks work better when everyone wears them. We did not want to take any risks, so we asked for medical accommodations which would allow her to move into an online platform.
We were denied medical accommodations.
Not only were we denied the accommodations, the vice-principal also threatened to expel her if she missed 15 consecutive days of school.
We had no choice – with medical accommodations being denied, we continued attending in-person school with her masking and the rest of the class quickly dropped their masks. This meant the masking situation was, essentially, 1-way masking only. Due to the constant and unavoidable threat of exposure to Covid within the classroom, she experienced high anxiety levels. Her anxiety began to manifest in physical forms as well, such as chest pain. It was taking a toll on her physical and mental health.
She continues to live with the anxiety she’s experiencing as accommodations still have not been approved and she remains in the classroom. Her classmates are frequently at school sick, return after illness (despite still symptomatic) and brag about “Surviving 1-day of Covid”.
There are many days when there is such a significant amount of illness in the classroom that I will bring her home from school. This is causing her to miss significant learning opportunities.
But what other choice has her school given us?