Is Chatham School Board’s mandatory masking based on ABC’s flawed study?

By Mia Munn

Pittsboro, NC – I again strongly urge you to remove the mask mandate in Chatham completely. We are doing untold harm to Special Ed students, K-3 students learning to read emotions and facial expressions, and ESL students, as well as the many many students struggling with anxiety, depression, and other mental health issues.

I know you have relied on guidance from the ABC Science Collaborative during the pandemic. I wasn’t at the board retreat, but I assume you got a report of their latest study on Test to Stay in school. I urge you to read this critique of the study published in the Wall Street Journal yesterday.

An honest summary of Duke’s ABC Science Collaborative study might have said: “There is a low transmission rate of the virus among students, even when unmasked at lunch or during sports.”

The study design was in places flawed and the conclusions misleading:
” One of their primary conclusions is that “in schools with universal masking, test-to-stay is an effective strategy.” That invites readers to assume that test-to-stay doesn’t work without forced masking. But since they studied no unmasked schools, this conclusion is baseless. An honest report would either have said so or not mentioned masking at all.”

It’s hard to know what experts to trust today, but you have to way risk on BOTH sides of the equation. I urge you to vote next month to remove all mask mandates.

Mia Munn is a Chatham County resident who submitted her thoughts to the Chatham County School Board.