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Killeen ISD leaves health protocols as is; doesn't consider mask mandate despite parent protest

Parents gathered at the Killeen ISD administration building just after 5 p.m. ahead of the school board meeting.

KILLEEN, Texas — Killeen ISD did not take action to make any changes to the public health guide in regard to a mask mandate despite parents protesting and calling for a mask mandate while also voicing concerns during the meeting.

"At this point as I said two weeks ago, as your superintendent I'm not in a position to not abide by a lawful directive," Killeen ISD Superintendent Dr. John Craft said.

Parents and community members rallied outside, upset, and insisted the district enforce a mask rule. Parents spoke for a mandate, saying it's not a political issue. Others added that they're scared their kids might get sick.

"Many kids in the school aren't wearing masks. We've already heard a bunch of kids and teachers getting sick," one parent said. 

Other parents spoke out against a mask mandate. 

"Just to kind of advocate for parents' choice. We feel like us parents know what's best for our child and that's not to place a mask on them eight hours a day," another parent said. 

Dozens rallied and waited outside of the Killeen ISD administration building for several hours calling on the school board to do what they say is the one thing to keep kids safe.

"Public schools in the middle of a pandemic need to be safe and the way we do that is everyone wears a mask. That's the end of the story."

Although the board did not make any changes to the health guide, the board approved the hiring of a chief medical officer to help district health staff handle COVID-19.  

Credit: Maria Aguilera
Credit: Maria Aguilera