By Rachael Cardin

WESTMINSTER, Md. (WJZ) — While many Maryland counties have begun the school year, masked up, Carroll County is one of the only counties leaving the decision in the hands of parents.

“I refuse to parent my children in fear,” said one parent. “Send them masked this first week.”

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Tensions running red hot at a Carroll County school board meeting on Wednesday.

“I do understand the desire to return to normal but I think the risk of doing so during the current pandemic are underappreciated by this board,” said Melissa Pain, Carrol County resident.

Some parents calling out the school board for allowing masks in schools to be optional when the majority of Maryland counties have made it a requirement.

Based on the recommendations by the CDC, the AAP and 20 of 24 Maryland counties, those counties voting on a mask mandate prior to the state board of ed’s mandatory mask requirement.

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Twenty-four hours later, parents seemed to be more “middle of the road.”

“I think people should be responsible for their own families. I don’t care for the fact that someone else will make a decision for me and my own children,” said one parent.

This mom has two kids in the school system.

“My children are in kindergarten and second grade,” said the parent. She is worried about the county’s lack of a virtual option because with no mask mandate she worries about consequences, with no backup plan.

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“I want them to be in school five days a week and I don’t want to deal with possible covid exposure and then that disrupts them and they’ll be home quarantining,” she said.

Rachael Cardin