In this Aug. 18, 2021, file photo, a large crowd gathered for a special SAD 70 school board meeting as the topic of mandatory face coverings was back on the table. Residents urged the school board not to make masks mandatory. The board agreed, shooting down a recommendation from its superintendent and will keep masks optional this fall. Credit: Joseph Cyr / Houlton Pioneer Times

Letters submitted by BDN readers are verified by BDN Opinion Page staff. Send your letters to

Jeremy Fischer said in his guest column in the BDN on Feb. 23 that parents are their kids’ experts. As a school nurse, I mostly agree. But has Fischer worked in a school during the pandemic?

Does Fischer realize that schools in Maine are suffering staff shortages? If the increased COVID-19 exposure to staff — many of whom are older and have health challenges — seems to matter so little to school policymakers, then I for one will stay home.

I think Fischer’s thinking fails to take into consideration how much staff have already endured and how much universal masking is appreciated by us. The kids are doing fine with masks. Each school has school nurses and a medical director. As the school health overseers, shouldn’t they be the main drivers of mask policy?

Mary Offutt

Little Deer Isle