Fallout continues, Dr. Tracie Newman speaks out regarding mandatory masking at FPS

“We need to get clear on who has the authority to turn a public health recommendation to a requirement.”
Published: Aug. 11, 2021 at 9:21 PM CDT
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FARGO, N.D. (Valley News Live) - Families have taken to the keyboard to voice their opinions as the Fargo Public School district becomes the only district in the area to require students and staff to wear masks.

School board member Dr. Tracie Newman said the decision was based on data and science.

“I’m proud of our community... this was not an easy decision.” said Dr. Newman.

However, her vote is under fire on social media. The August 10 school board vote was 6-3, including Dr. Newman’s ‘yes’ vote. Some parents have said her vote shouldn’t count due to a conflict of interest stemming from her position at Fargo Cass Public Health.

“I just want to be clear I have no hidden agenda hear.. I have nothing to gain.” Dr. Newman said.

She added she was upfront about that, and if the board wanted to omit her from the vote they could have made a motion...but they didn’t.

Meanwhile some parents think the school board is overstepping. Cassie Schmidt, a mother, said she believes masks are being used as a medical devices which require parental consent.

“The school board, the superintendent, no one has the authority to give medical consent on behalf of children except for parents.” said Schmidt.

Dr. Newman said the decision follows the recommendation of Fargo Cass Public Health and the CDC who she said the school board has always looked to for public health guidance.

“If we don’t vote to approve this by the board, if we don’t follow the recommendations they’re making... then what?” said Dr. Newman, “Are we just selectively not going to take this guidance from people who have always guided us?”

Some parents say when it comes to masking...yes.

“We need to get clear on who has the authority to turn a public health recommendation to a requirement.” said Schmidt.

I asked her why she thinks masks in schools has become such a hot topic, Schmidt’s answer, it’s rooted in fear.

“People are scared, quite frankly, the fear is at an all-time high right now.” said Schmidt.

The decision to require masks for staff and students has some Fargo parents going to extremes.

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