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Parents concerned that Oak Creek-Franklin Joint School District does not require masks despite rising COVID-19 cases

Over 200 students within the OCFSD have tested positive this week
Posted at 10:15 PM, Jan 07, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-07 23:15:49-05

OAK CREEK, Wisc. — Parents in the Oak Creek-Franklin Joint School District(OCFSD) are concerned after they believe the school is ignoring advice from the local health department.

Face coverings have been optional since the summer semester in the OCFSD. For parents like Kelly Faust, this has been concerning as her son is immunocompromised.

"There have been no efforts to mitigate the situation at all. Just getting a basic cold we can end up with nebulizer treatments, inhalers regularly so we're pretty fearful," said Faust.

After writing countless letters to the school board, she's beginning to give up as not much has changed.

According to the district's page, masks and close contact quarantine are both optional.

This week, over 200 students within the OCFSD have tested positive and based on the city's COVID dashboard case counts have significantly risen.

"It's just like do whatever, we don't have any plans for anything. There's just suggestions, options, you know get tested if you want, quarantine if you want and it just makes us question like why is the school board making these important health decisions," said Faust.

The Oak Creek Health Department wrote a letter back in October urging the school board to require masks indoors.

Lyann Buena Franco, another parent in the district pulled her kids out from in-person learning after masks became optional, as one of her sons is immunocompromised.

"I actually have to go into East Middle School in Oak Creek to pick up packets for my two boys that are doing virtual and I walk in and the kids don't have masks on, the staff doesn't have a mask on," said Lyann.

In a statement, the district has responded saying they strongly encourage face coverings and testing.

"We are dedicated to providing in-person instruction to our students and families, despite the challenges brought by the recent surge in the pandemic. We strongly encourage the use of face-coverings and the use of our in-district testing center. We continue to partner with our health department to host vaccination clinics in supporting families navigating the coming weeks. We offer a fully virtual program, and live-stream classes for students quarantining."

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