Idaho Dispatch

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31% of West Ada Students Opt Out of Masking Requirement

By • August 30, 2021

School is back in session, and one of the primary talks among students, parents, teachers, citizens, and healthcare workers is how to address masking in Idaho schools.

The West Ada School District, Idaho’s largest school district, set a policy that masks are required for students. However, the policy also said that students could opt out by having their parents fill out a form and turn it into the school district.

This morning, WASD told Idaho Dispatch that 31% of students have opted out of the masking requirement.

The current number of registered students in WASD is 40,162, according to Charalee Jackson, the Chief Communications Officer for WASD. Based on the percentage given to Idaho Dispatch, approximately 12,450 students have opted out of the masking requirement.

Idaho Dispatch previously covered the first day that parents were standing in line at the school district to turn in the form.

One of the parents that Idaho Dispatch spoke to on condition of anonymity told us they wanted to make health decisions for their children and didn’t feel it was the place of the schools to do so.

Here is what the parent told Idaho Dispatch specifically,

We decided to opt out of the mask guidelines due to overwhelming scientific evidence that doesn’t support the need for kids to wear masks. The science shows that masks are actually more harmful for kids to wear, and it is our duty as parents to make the health decisions for our children…not the school board.

Some individuals do not agree with students being able to opt out of the masking requirement.

Brad Bigford is a nurse practitioner in Boise. He took to Twitter to disapprove of the WASD’s decision and said he is grateful that the Boise School District where his kids go to school does require them. Here is what Bigford said:

I am thankful my children are in Boise School District where my community cares about one another. I am sad for those families in West Ada who care about their community but their community doesn’t care about them.

Idaho Dispatch will continue to monitor the number of individuals who opt out of the masking requirement and keep our readers updated.

Tags: Brad Bigford, Face Covering, Mask Requirement, Masks, West Ada School District