BALTIMORE (WJZ) — During Wednesday night’s Board of Education meeting in Anne Arundel County, Superintendent George Arlotto brought forth a recommendation supported by him and the County Health Officer Dr. Nilesh Kalyanaraman. 
 
The recommendation states that if any school has a COVID rate of 5% or higher, then students and staff will be asked to wear a mask and test at home. 

COVID-19 rates rising. Anne Arundel County Public Schools saw 11 outbreaks at schools in the past week in a county where cases have tripled in the past month.
This recommendation is designed to keep more children in schools. 
 
In a statement, the school district says the recommendation is not a mandate but a way to avoid virtual instruction or moving students out of a class during an outbreak. 
 
Some parents are unhappy with the school district’s approach. Parents like Kim Pratta, who attended Wednesday’s board meeting said, “No more masks; no more testing; no more quarantining.” 
 
And Pratta wasn’t alone. Roughly two dozen showed up to protest the recommendation. 
 
“We continually put the burden of this pandemic on the backs of our children,” said Shannon Leadbetter. 
 
In February, the mask mandate was removed in Anne Arundel County Public Schools, the first county in the state to do so. 
 
“They’re smiling again, they’re socializing, its amazing the emotional effect it had on kids,” said another parent of when the mandate was lifted. 
 
The board did not take a vote on this recommendation to make it a requirement but it encouraged moving forward. 

Annie Rose Ramos