Crowd Split at ‘Unmask the Kids’ Meeting

A community meeting was held Wednesday evening to discuss the possibility of unmasking the kids in the Johnson County School District, with those attending both in favor of, and against removing the masks from the kids.

Parent Shanell Hatch organized and hosted the meeting that had Public Health Officer Dr. Mark Schueler and members of the Johnson County School Board in attendance.

Some of the concerns raised by parents wanting to unmask kids included the inability of kids and teachers to hear each other when wearing them, safety and hygiene issues from constantly wearing them, and the harm it may be doing to the kids’ psyche.

Dr. Schueler said there appears to be some possible consequences such as skin problems, reduced oxygen levels, and more headaches from wearing masks in certain circumstances but that it doesn’t seem to affect healthy people as badly, and he doesn’t have much concern of the effects on children who are usually healthier than the general population.

School board member Mary McCorkle said they have made the decision for the district based on what is better for everyone, and Dr. Schueler explained why the rules for masks are currently in place.

After more discussion, Dr. Schueler said, “medically speaking, I think we’ll have fewer cases and potentially fewer lives lost locally if we are more careful, but we have the luxury of a low impact right now. If we’re able to be less restrictive in our lifestyle, that may be an experiment we as a community decide to undertake and it may be the right thing.”

He then told those attending that if the parents, school board and administration are all in agreement and decide they want a variance for masks to be optional in Johnson County schools, he would send the request on to State Health Officer Dr. Alexia Harrist for review.

No decisions were made at the meeting, and the next step is for the parents to organize and submit their variance request.


  1. Public health officer Dr Mark Schueler…?…really? a doctor?…all I can say is after reading the sixth paragraph of this article is that I’m sure glad it’s not my child’s life or the lives of my “community” he wants to “experiment” with…really a doctor?

    • I also wonder what he has to say about all of the surgeons and operating room staff who wear masks for hours with no apparent ill effects or lowered O2 levels.

  2. I’m sorry, but I don’t have the luxuray or the financial means to stay home and homeschool my children nor to live off of no income. Plainly put, if you want to work, if you want things to stay open, if you want to save lives and jobs, wear your damn mask! You have no idea what the “real world” is facing. I challenge you to go work at the hospitals that are taking care of Covid patients and seeing first hand the struggles of keeping people alive. I challenge you to be that parent or child or friend that can’t go see their loved one in the hospital while they are battling an illness or dyeing. I challenge you to get over your self-serving, self-righteousness attitudes and do your part in protecting everyone.

  3. Have you ever thought to ask the kids what they think? This sounds more like whiney parents that don’t want to follow rules. Every child I have seen have been more than compliant with wearing masks and actually find them “cool”. They like showing off their new mask that has sparkles or batman on it. Maybe you should poll all the kids and see what their true feelings are?

  4. Wow. A “public health officer” who is allegedly a medical doctor ignoring all kinds of science in one fell swoop. I’m with Mark Steingass — this guy is dangerous.

  5. Some people are not going to want to give up the muzzle even after the game is over…..
    They embrace the muzzle, as it is their identity. It gives them purpose for some deep seeded self identity that they are lacking, and it bothers them that others dont suffer from this affliction.

    • Mitch,…Yes…if what you say is true it will be interesting to see if President Trump gives up his facemask “muzzle” after “the game is over” in November…recently President Trump was seen paying respect to Ruth Ginsburg from the top of the supreme court steps with his, as you say, “muzzle” (facemask) covering most of his face…at this point of “the game” I suspect you are correct that President Trump is seeking “some kind of identity” that he feels “he is lacking” by wearing a “muzzle” (facemask) I agree…the full extent of what was bothering the president while paying respect to Ruth Bader Ginsburg may only be explained at some future time….possibly, what bothers him most at this point in ”the game” are the ramifications of the forthcoming electoral college count

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