Lack of Transparency in Frederick County Public Schools Leads to Chaos

Secret mask mandate in the works since October of 2020.

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The first day of school is just two days away and mismanagement by Superintendent Alban has thrown everything into chaos. Parents were blind-sided on July 28 with Alban’s surprise notice of a face mask mandate.

This should NEVER have happened because Alban and the Board of Education have known since October of 2020, they were going to implement a mask mandate. They just kept it hidden within the “Dress Code” policy until the very last minute.

A small glimmer of a positive note is Frederick County parents who don’t support forced mask wearing are in the majority. When the pro-mask bullies and shamers start wagging a finger in your face know they are just the noisy minority.

Reasonable parents and guardians still believe in the freedom to choose what is best for their children.

This scandal sent me searching the Frederick News Post for information on just how many parents wanted their children to remain in virtual learning.

In June of 2021 the Frederick News Post published the article About 3% of Frederick County Public School students opt for all virtual fall instruction.

Per the article FCPS got a large response to their survey asking parents to choose between in person learning or virtual learning. Of Frederick’s 45,000+ student population only 1,437 chose to go virtual. Everyone else was comfortable going back to school without the requirement of face masks.

Now that Superintendent Alban has decreed face masks must be worn to attend school in person, there is a mad dash to sign children up for virtual learning. Sadly, they are being met with resistance. FCPS isn’t prepared for the number of students now wanting to remain mask free in a home environment.

All of this was completely avoidable. More students may have opted to remain virtual had their parents known FCPS was even considering a mask mandate as far back as October of last year. Still others who chose virtual may have chosen to go in had they had advance notice. Everyone lost in this scenario.

The questions that need to be answered by FCPS:

Why didn’t the Board of Education or Dr. Alban send out notification to parents and guardians informing them they were in the process of creating a mask mandate back in October of2020?

Why do all the BoE agenda’s address what came to be uncovered as a mask mandate, as a “dress code?”

Were the BoE and Dr. Alban trying to keep the public from learning they were creating a mask mandate?

Didn’t the Board and Dr. Alban consider that mandating the use of face masks would cause more parents to want to keep their children in virtual instruction?

Why didn’t the Board of Education and Dr. Alban keep any of the infrastructure necessary to continue with virtual learning until it was abundantly clear it would no longer be necessary?

Frederick County Public Schools is in crisis. The Board of Education should have had public, transparent and open meetings to discuss creating an actual policy that authorized and empowered FCPS to mandate face masks. Their continual disrespect for parents and erosion of their rights and responsibilities is unacceptable. It appears as if the Board of Education and Dr. Alban just didn’t want to have the contentious conversations that freedom allows. They didn’t want input from the public who pays their salaries and whose children they are supposed to serve. They have forgotten they work for us.

[Parents can read how the mask policy isn’t enforceable here.]

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