Austin parents share concerns over masking in school for kids with medical excuses

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(ABC 6 News) – Starting Wednesday at Austin Public Schools, masks are required for all students, staff and visitors during the school day. But some parents are expressing concerns over the recent mandate because of their child’s medical issues.

Some parents have reached out to the school with numerous questions about their kid having medical issues, such as asthma, and how kids can’t wear a mask because it is hard for them to breathe.

The parents say they still don’t have answers from the district.

"So we’ve contacted the school nurse, made sure that they had my son’s asthma action plan, we had to call the superintendent, we’re still waiting to hear back from him. We also had to contact his medical doctor in Rochester and we’re still waiting for a medical note to be exempted for him to not wear the mask," Kayla Nelson, an Austin Public Schools parent, said.

Students like Kayla’s son, 9-year-old Wyatt, can’t get vaccinated. Kayla says he has had a hard time breathing while wearing a mask due to his asthma conditions and develops a rash from wearing one.

"But if you have asthma, it makes it harder and I don’t like wearing it because it’s like eight hours a day so you do it for like a week so it’s going to be hard for you to breathe," Wyatt Broin, a 4th grader at Austin Public Schools, said.

Austin Public Schools does offer a face mask exemption for religious and medical reasons.

Rochester Public Schools says that parents should work with their individual school principal and/or school nurse for face covering exemption.