August 16, 2021
Students in Support of Statewide Mask Mandate to Testify at Legislative Hearing
On Tuesday morning, Kentucky high school students will deliver public testimony before a legislative committee reviews the Kentucky Board of Education’s statewide mask mandate for public schools. They will be speaking before the Administrative Regulation Review Subcommittee hearing which begins at 10 am ET.
“This is not simply an issue of partisan politics or popularity but an issue of the health, safety, and equity for our students, teachers, families, and communities,“ said Audrey Gilbert, a junior at Frankfort High School. “The Kentucky Board of Education’s mask mandate helps me protect my family and makes returning to school feel safer.”
The Kentucky Student Voice Team had previously issued a public statement in support of Gov. Beshear’s executive order instituting a thirty day mask mandate and the subsequent emergency regulation adopted by the Kentucky Board of Education. The Administrative Regulation Review Subcommittee has the power to drastically change the regulation, potentially ending the mask mandate for public schools.
“We are living through an immensely difficult time,” said Pragya Upreti, a senior at Lafayette High School in Lexington. “We have had to adapt to changes many of us felt were uncomfortable to begin with. But, in this time, we’ve also learned that sometimes, for the greater good of our community, making uncomfortable decisions is necessary.”
Upreti and Gilbert will deliver the public testimony in a show of support for the mask mandate. They and other members of the Kentucky Student Voice Team will be available for interviews. The testimony will also be livestreamed and archived by Kentucky Educational Television.
The Kentucky Student Voice Team is a statewide organization of young people who are co-creating more just, democratic Kentucky schools & communities as research, policy & advocacy partners.