Preventing student anxiety over mask debate

Counselor tells parents to be positive and supportive of school rules.
Published: Aug. 27, 2021 at 3:01 PM EDT|Updated: Aug. 27, 2021 at 7:01 PM EDT
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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - Parents can ease anxiety for students by being supportive of school rules, no matter where parents stand on mask mandates, according to a school counselor.

Licensed Associate Counselor Amber Chudzik said to parents, “Trying to set aside our own personal beliefs. And if your personal belief is that masks are not the right solution for our students, fight that with the grownups. Take that to the people who get to make those decisions. But for our children when we’re talking to our children and we’re responding to our children about masks, support whatever that school is doing because it’s also important to know the teachers are not making these mandates. This is coming from way, way above.”

Chudzik said parents need to remember that back-to-school anxiety can be about even more than masks, as children have endured time off school, distance learning challanges and several school changes during the pandemic. She said parents need to validate children’s feelings by listening to their concerns.

She acknowledged that the issue of how to best protect children during the COVID-19 pandemic can be devisive. Yet, she stressed the need for positivity and support in front of children.

The Centers for Disease Control has advice for families about back-to-school time. The CDC recommends universal masking for K-12 schools.

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