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Parents On Long Island Call For Students To Be Allowed To Go Maskless In School

CARLE PLACE, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) -- The school year is coming to a close, but some parents in our area are still appealing to Gov. Andrew Cuomo to reverse the state's mask directive in schools.

They say kids are suffering in the heat.

As CBS2's Carolyn Gusoff reported, masks are off almost everywhere you go, but in school, they're still mandatory.

With only days left in the school year, there was a call Monday to make it a local school district decision.

"We haven't seen any science backing up why our kids are still in school wearing masks," said parent Heather Birong.

Parents in Carle Place say their kids -- now allowed maskless during outdoor play -- are suffering indoors.


"They're sweating in school with masks on and can't breathe, are getting nose bleeds," one parent said.

"There are concerts -- no masks; there's sporting events -- no masks. Why do kids have to be prisoners in school? It doesn't make any sense to me," said parent Shanyn Veneroni.

Not all students agree. Some vaccinated high schoolers say masks make sense in a setting where not everyone's vaccinated.

"I don't know that everybody else is vaccinated. So it just makes me feel safer and it's not that big of a deal," said student Ava Brandewiede.

"I'd rather be safe than sorry. I'm taking into consideration other people's safety and how they feel in school. It's really just all about empathy," added student Kayla Lloyd.

New York, in consultation with the CDC, kept masks required in school for several reasons, including the low adolescent vaccine rate.

"Adolescents are still serving not only as a reservoir of infection, but they, themselves, are getting infected and getting sick and getting admitted to the hospital," said Dr. Sharon Nachman of Stony Brook Children's Hospital.


Nachman, chief of pediatric infectious diseases at the hospital, added children are still spreading COVID to adults, including dangerous variants.

"They are the cause for about one quarter of all new COVID infections in New York at this time," Nachman said.

The governor has said the safest course for now is to keep masks on indoors for now, and then revisit in the fall when there's more time to prepare. But parents in Carle Place said ask the little ones.

"It's too hot to breathe," one student said.

They're hoping for one maskless day before school's out.

In Nassau County, both County Executive Laura Curran and Bruce Blackman, who is running for county executive, said they believe the indoor school masking decision should be a local one.

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