Troy schools ‘ask, implore, beg’ students to wear masks

Heywood Elementary School first-grade teacher Angela Laird (right) helps student Madalyn Lee adjust her face mask on Troy City Schools' first day of school in fall 2020.
Caption
Heywood Elementary School first-grade teacher Angela Laird (right) helps student Madalyn Lee adjust her face mask on Troy City Schools' first day of school in fall 2020.

Credit: Contributed photo

Credit: Contributed photo

More than 300 children are in COVID quarantine in a district of 4,000 students

Troy City Schools have more than 300 students in COVID quarantine after just eight days of classes, but the district is not adopting a mask mandate like Kettering, Centerville and others schools have.

On Friday afternoon, Troy Superintendent Chris Piper and Heywood School Principal Maurice Sadler made a video plea to families to voluntarily mask their children.

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“We are here today to ask you, to implore you, to beg you, to have your child wear a mask to school,” Sadler said in the video. “In my opinion it’s a small price to pay to achieve our common goal of keeping children in school. … As a family, it is everyone’s job to keep each other safe.”

Piper said the social distancing, cleaning and sanitizing the schools have been doing are not enough to stop the spread of COVID-19.

“This is not a mask mandate. We believe we can avoid the division that many communities have experienced (on that topic),” Piper said. “However, it is our duty to keep our students safe. And if the numbers keep trending in this direction, a mask mandate may be in our future.”

Several Troy residents complained about a potential mask policy on the district’s Facebook page, with some arguing the health department is quarantining too many people and others saying the non-air-conditioned schools are too hot for kids to wear masks.

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The Ohio Department of Health reported Friday that there are 2,127 coronavirus patients in Ohio hospitals, with 165 new hospitalizations reported in the past 24 hours. Of those patients, 628 are in intensive care and 375 are on ventilators.

Sadler said COVID cases and quarantines have already caused Troy to cancel a football game, and now other events and activities hang in the balance.

“We’re asking one more time, to dig deep into your reserves of Trojan Pride and help us make this happen,” he said.

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