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Area school district rewards students for wearing masks; parents question the practice

Published: Aug. 31, 2021 at 7:09 PM CDT
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WACO, Texas - (KWTX) - A controversy is brewing at a local school district where some of the younger students are being rewarded for wearing masks to help combat the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to a flyer on the La Vega Elementary School Facebook page, candy, stickers, and a free day to “dress up like a healthcare hero” are some of the incentives offered to students who mask up.

A parent of a La Vega Primary School student says a similar flyer came home with one of his sons.

He says his child is being given rewards to wear a mask which include snacks, getting an hour to take off their shoes, a trip to the teacher’s “treasure bag,” and applause from the student body during morning announcements for being “the safekeepers” of the school.

“I do think it’s bribery,” said Charles Patterson, who has three children in LVISD schools.

Students who wear masks receive small rewards.
Students who wear masks receive small rewards.(Staff)

“You’re instilling that in them like ‘hey, this kid is being rewarded because apparently, he’s the safekeeper and I’m not, I’m the bad person.’”

Parents like Patterson say the new policy is divisive and raises some troubling questions.

“Would a kid get bullied for thinking that they shouldn’t wear one? Are mom and dad really telling me the right thing to do or not? Do I trust the school more than I trust my parents’ opinion?” said Patterson.

KWTX received many complaints about the policy from LVISD parents.

La Vega ISD officials have not responded to repeated requests over several days for comment.

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