Mask Choice Petition Garners More Than 130 Signatures In Sag Harbor - 27 East

Mask Choice Petition Garners More Than 130 Signatures In Sag Harbor

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Sag Harbor Elementary School

Sag Harbor Elementary School

authorCailin Riley on Jan 26, 2022

A online petition titled “Mask Choice For School,” started by Sag Harbor parent Christina Labriola, had garnered 137 signatures as of early afternoon on Wednesday, representing the voice of parents in the district who say they are fed up with the school mask mandate and want the district and Board of Education to make masks optional.

Labriola was motivated to start the petition on after Nassau County Judge Thomas Rademaker ruled on Monday evening that the state’s indoor mask mandate was “unconstitutional and unenforceable,” setting off a hectic period where some schools allowed parents to send their children in unmasked on Tuesday.

Most schools in Suffolk County continued to require children to wear masks, and every East End district sent home some version of a letter to parents late Monday night informing them that they would continue to enforce the mask mandate, based on the state attorney general’s plan to immediately file an appeal. A stay of the ruling was granted on Tuesday, restoring the state mask mandate, at least temporarily, but Rademaker’s ruling had ripple effects, energizing parents from school districts across the area who say they are fed up with the mask mandate.

Labriola, who has a son in second grade at Sag Harbor Elementary School and a 4-year-old daughter who attends prekindergarten at the Sag Harbor Learning Center, said the petition is an attempt to breathe life into the mask choice movement in the district.

“A lot of parents have been talking and mumbling about when is this going to end?” she said in a phone call late Wednesday morning.

Labriola lamented the fact that parents have not been speaking up at board meetings to express their frustration with the mask mandate, and added that many people who signed the petition told her they have been frustrated with the mandate for a long time, but had reservations about speaking publicly about it.

“We want to start a movement and make our voices heard, loud and clear, and we’re going to do anything we can in our power to move to make masks optional,” she said.

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