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Parents consider pulling kids out of Fort Bend ISD amid mask mandate whiplash

“I’m exhausted," said Bri Sadhwani, a FBISD parent. "I am prepared to pull her out of the school district and withdraw her.”

FORT BEND COUNTY, Texas — It has been a confusing time for parents in Fort Bend Independent School District as they try to keep up with COVID-19 protocols in school.

At the beginning of the school year, the district followed Gov. Greg Abbott’s orders and made masks optional. However, after hundreds of children tested positive for COVID-19, the board voted to make masks mandatory, only to reverse that decision a couple of days later.

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During a board meeting Monday night, it was revealed that the decision to reverse the mandate came at the direction of the board's legal counsel.

Since the beginning of school three weeks ago, FBISD is reporting more than 2,800 COVID-19 cases within its schools.

At Monday’s board meeting, one parent spoke to the board about the desire to keep masks optional, but more than a dozen others spoke up to demand the mandate be put back in place.

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Bri Sadhwani is worried about her two kids. One is a first-grader in the district.

“She was so excited to go back, and we were devastated that Fort Bend ISD has not been taking the right protocols to keep our kids safe,” Sadhwani said.

She’s now weighing her options.

“I’m exhausted. I am prepared to pull her out of the school district and withdraw her,” she said.

Sadhwani said she’s even considering moving to a state where stricter COVID-19 safety protocols are in place.

“I’m from New Jersey and I think about moving back every single day,” she said.

Another parent, Dr. Sumita Ghosh, who is an attorney, is concerned for her children, too.

“I used to work for the CDC as their chief science officer,” Ghosh said.

Ghosh has two kids zoned to the district. One is a vaccinated and masked seventh-grader who is in school and she also has a 7-year-old second-grader who is being homeschooled. Ghosh is frustrated with the district and worried about the long-term impacts of the virus.

“They are putting the legal liability over the value of the child’s pain and suffering,” Ghosh said.

The parents are asking for the district to follow the CDC’s guidelines. They want masks at the bare minimum.

“It’s not a fair thing. It’s a science thing. Because the science says kids are in danger from Delta,” Ghosh said.