Parents want answers on photos of board members in schools sans masks

Board member: Masks were off for lunch and photos, that's it
City Schools Mask Story

By WVUA 23 News Reporter Gracie Johnson

Parents with children in Tuscaloosa City Schools are questioning why school board members are being photographed not wearing masks inside schools.

The photos, taken during a board appreciation lunch at Eastwood Middle School, were posted Jan. 25 by District 5 Tuscaloosa City School Board Member Erica Grant on her personal Facebook page. Those photos were then shared by a parent to the private Tuscaloosa for Education Facebook group. Group members wondered why board members were posing for photos without masks inside the school while TCS has a mask mandate for all students, staff and visitors.

The next day, Grant posted a 20-minute long video on Facebook addressing the situation. You can view it right here.

In the video, Grant said the board and other visitors were masked throughout the event. The only exception to that was during the lunch itself and while board members took photos. Some photos from the event do show board members and others wearing masks inside the school.

But some parents said Grant’s explanation isn’t enough.

“If you’re enforcing something on the children, on the parents, then please be an example and do it yourself,” said TCS parent Bernd Greimel.

Grant spoke with WVUA 23 News Wednesday and apologized for any concern or anger the photos may have caused.

“I am publicly saying that as a school board member, for us taking our masks off for a few moments, I apologize if that sent a bad look to the children, our educators, our parents,” she said.

WVUA 23 reached out to TCS Superintendent Mike Daria, who said via email he hasn’t yet spoken with anyone involved.

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