Surgical Masks Not Allowed in AISD

Joanna Chacon, concerned guardian
Joanna Chacon, concerned guardian
Sandy Whitlow, Johnny Allen Principal
Sandy Whitlow, Johnny Allen Principal

Tina Berasley

Amarillo, TX - A tool used around the globe to supposedly prevent the spread of the flu is not allowed in the Amarillo Independent School District.

Newschannel10's Tina Berasley found out why the district believes the item is a violation of dress code, rather than a health aid.

Masks are not allowed at the Johnny Allen 6th grade Campus behind Horace Mann or at schools across AISD because both local and federal authorities say they do not help prevent the flu.

Guidelines for mask wearing in AISD were first tested this morning, when a 6th grade student showed up with the mask and was asked to remove it.

Her guardian is fearful of the girl's classmates sick siblings, and their family's possible exposure to H1N1.

"I think we should be able to express the way we feel and what we actually want our children to do in school. So her wearing the mask if I feel its gonna keep her safe then me as a parent should be able to let her do that," says Joanna Chacon.

The foundation for the guidelines were laid by both the Bi-County health authority, and the Centers for Disease Control.

The schools' principal asked the girl to remove the mask, because those authorities feel it doesn't prevent healthy students from catching the flu.

Sandy Whitlow said "We think that for one student to wear a surgical mask may be more of a hindrance, a disturbance than it would be a help. Were all about making sure our students are safe in a healthy environment and we want them to be academically successful."

AISD sent a memo home to parents today with tips on how to prevent the flu from spreading.

Administrators say they won't change their policy unless health authorities change theirs.