A Youngsville mother's Facebook post about the masks in schools controversy really takes the anti-mask parents to church.

Bree Alleman, early on in her Facebook post, points out how ridiculous the whole mask debate really is - especially when it comes to kids wearing the masks in school.

Alleman is also quick to point out something that many of us seem to agree on: she does NOT like to wear a mask. I don't like to wear a mask. I am certain that there are a few mavericks out there who may even SLEEP in their mask because they like it so much but, for most of us. I think that we can agree that the masks are a pain.

Photo courtesy of kelly-sikkema-RYABMCLP7aM-unsplash

In her post, she also says something that is probably a widespread truth: the kids don't like wearing the masks, either.

I get it, they don’t like wearing a mask... They don’t like wearing shoes, belts, collared shirts and so on either. But they do it, every day, with not much issue. - Bree Alleman via Facebook

Alleman brings up a great point in her Facebook post: most kids probably do not want to take a mask complaint up the chain of command. Most kids probably just want to go on about their lives. Adding a mask to their daily list is a pain for them (I'm sure, as it is for the rest of us) but, as you know, kids will survive and thrive. When a dress code already dictates what shoes and pants/skirts and shirts and hats and hoodies (none, btw) can be worn at school, adding a mask to the list seems minor.

What DO kids want? Alleman makes a list:

THEY want to go to recess and run freely on the playground... hug their favorite teacher, high five the bus driver, sit with friends… they WANT to go on field trips again, to the Cafeteria, to the Library. THEY want to race each other to the water fountain, to play tag, duck duck goose, and red rover.

In other words, Alleman says, they want their childhoods back.

THEY want their childhoods back, and for lots of us, myself included, these precious years where everything really can revolve around them in an adolescent world where magic still exists, y’all these years are fleeting.

 

These. Years. Are. Fleeting.

Strong words about how quickly your children grow up. While one set of parents feel that their kids are missing out on these years because they have to wear a mask, Alleman feels that, even while wearing masks, all of these things can still be done, with one extra item on the dress code list.

Courtesy Louisiana Ragin'Cajuns Football via Twitter

If we DON'T mask our kids up now, Alleman says, it will be taking these precious years from our kids by allowing the coronavirus to thrive. She lashes out at the anti-mask parents, especially those who caused a ruckus at the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education meeting recently:

You CHOSE to get in the way of progress that is necessary in order for the things your kids really do care about to be restored. These kids are stuck in the worst part of the story and waiting for the grown ups to get their acts together and LET THEM BE KIDS AGAIN. If wearing a mask guarantees the best likelihood of returning to some sort of normal sooner than later WHO CARES WHY or HOW? Not your kids. - Bree Alleman via Facebook

Alleman says that it is all parents' job to do what they must to help give our children their lives.

They just want it back, and it’s your job and my job and our job to give it to them while we can. I beg you… stop stopping progress. Stop taking precious time and energy to argue over dress codes and uniforms. You aren’t advocating for your kids or any of their actual needs or rights.. you’re throwing adult tantrums over every minuscule detail of policies that don’t matter whatsoever to adults…

Some schools in states in which governors have banned mask mandates have added masks to the school dress code in order to circumvent the governor's ban.

Jeff J Mitchell, Getty Images

Did kids complain when dress codes became a thing? Most of them, I'm sure. Did kids complain when they had to get vaccinated for measles or polio or Diptheria? Most of them, I'm sure. Will kids complain about masks being added to the dress code? Most of them, I'm sure. Will kids complain when their sibling gets more ice in their drink than them? Most of them, I'm sure.

But, Alleman argues, the sooner we minimize the spread of the coronavirus, the sooner kids can get back to being kids.

They don’t mind wearing a mask, they mind being bound to a mask in the place of things that they love and miss. A mission to unmask our children is so short sited and pales in comparison to coming together as parents and working to UNBURDEN OUR CHILDREN- Please, while they’re still children.

Getty Images

In taking the parents at the BESE meeting to church, Alleman has some advice:

Put on your mask and show up for them. Do what’s necessary to reach the next step. Shut up long enough for the conversations that matter to take place. - Bree Alleman via Facebook

I was reading a list from a website that says school uniforms are worn for several reasons. School Advisor lists some of the benefits of school uniforms:

  • They help foster a sense of belonging to the school/institution
  • They reduce fashion distraction in the classroom
  • They reduce bullying
  • It helps streamline mornings by eliminating the "what should I wear" issue
  • Instills a sense of equality among students

Let's concentrate on that first one: they help foster a sense of belonging to the school/institution.

Being part of something larger than yourself means doing something that benefits everyone. Being part of society (something larger than you) means that you have a duty to do things that benefit us all. Wearing a mask, maintaining social distance, and practicing good hygiene benefits us all during these trying times of a pandemic.

Alleman's final paragraph wraps up her rant quite well:

...we aren’t getting anywhere at all until everyone can get over themselves and realize it’s not about the masks… it’s about people.. it’s about KIDS… they are silently suffering so much more than they let on, and they probably don’t even know it. That’s heartbreaking, that’s US, FAILING THEM. Follow the rules while you search for a solution. Take a lesson from these kids- if you behave yourselves long enough to see what comes next and maybe just maybe we’ll get cookies. - Bree Alleman via Facebook

Response to the post remained positive

Comments via Facebook

One mother drives home Alleman's point by relating a story about her son playing hockey during the pandemic:

Alleman Comments via Facebook
I reached out to Alleman as I was writing this story to get clarification on her stance on the subject, and her response really cleared things up for me:
For the record I want to be clear- I’m not so naive that I believe that wearing masks is all it takes for humans to conquer Coronavirus. I’m not a scientist, I don’t even know if masks even work. But I know for sure that the last year and a half of Social Distancing has been hardest on kids. They sacrificed the most, and they did it with grace, because they believe in us. They still have hope that this is almost over. It’s been almost 2 years since they were introduced to masks, and we are no closer to returning contact to them than we were the day we locked down. 2 years to you and me are a drop in the bucket. 2 years to my daughter is 20% of her life. 1/5 of her childhood spent Social Distancing. The list that I ranted about like recess, and parties, and games probably seems trivial, but to an 8 year old, they’re everything. Social Distancing took all of that away from kids, they NEED contact. They might not need masks, but they’re absolutely willing to accept them as necessary if that’s what it takes to get back to normal. We all know it will take a lot more than masks, masks are just the tip of the Coronavirus iceberg. As a parent, I can’t wrap my head around delaying necessary progress over paper masks. We’ve all worn far worse to make someone we love happy. It doesn’t give me much hope that we’ll be able to overcome a virus anytime soon if we can’t tolerate the smallest item on a very long list of things we’ve had to sacrifice in the pandemic. I’m just saying the clock is ticking… what percentage of childhood is considered an acceptable loss for a crusade over an accessory?
What percentage of childhood is considered an acceptable loss for a crusade over an accessory? That question really puts things into perspective.

I am sure that this post will draw the ire of those who are afraid of losing their rights as Americans, and I am okay with that (those arguments will subside as they did with seat belts, motorcycle helmets, smoking bans in restaurants and the like). I am sure that Alleman is okay with that. Complain about this post. Argue about this post. Condemn this post. Do what you would like in response to this post, just do it with a mask on if you are around others.

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