How Much Is Too Much?


In March of 2019, the lives of many were changed forever. What started as an epidemic quickly escalated into a global pandemic, and the day-to-day routine changed for everyone. Schools shut down, hugging friends and family turned into hugging caskets, and no one knew what was going to come next. 

Flash forward to October of 2021. Masks have become the new normal, arguments of whether or not getting the vaccination is a wise decision are rampant, and a fear of physical touch is seen in many people. In Edmond, Oklahoma, a mostly Republican state and city, the virus has become politicized. If you choose to get the vaccination, you are a sheep following the herd to impending doom. If you choose to not get the vaccination, you are being disrespectful to everyone around you. If you wear a mask, you are ostracized for doing so; if you do not, it is the same scenario. It is a time where nobody is happy with any decision that is being made, and a group of six Edmond parents has spoken out about just how unhappy they are. 

In September, Facebook was no longer a powerful enough platform to speak out on.  Six parents decided to take their concerns to court. 

“Our battle really isn’t with the district and the teachers or even our superintendent. We really want our school district to come in compliance with the law and keep healthy kids in school,” said Brian Shellem in an interview with KFOR.

Shellem is one of the six parents who has filed a lawsuit against Edmond Public Schools (EPS).

According to the EPS website, the COVID protocol comes from the guidance of the Oklahoma City-County Health Department (OCCHD). OCCHD has recommended that anyone who has been exposed to a COVID-19 positive person and has not received a COVID-19 vaccine or tested COVID-19 positive in the last 90 days will be required to complete a 7-Day or 10-Day quarantine. To the six parents, this is “segregation” towards their children. 

A restraining order was requested by these parents as a means to alleviate the protocols that have been set. The restraining order was quickly declined by the Judge. 

With a lawsuit in the midst, parents have now created a movement known as “We the Parents,” reclaiming the preamble of the Constitution.

” ‘We the Parents’ isn’t just a movement, it is a mindset that parents can and should continue being involved in decision-making for their children,” said Stephanie Brady, a spokesperson for the newfound organization, on a recent public Facebook post.

As a decision is being made in the courtroom, supporters of We the Parents can be seen protesting outside of Edmond schools during educational hours. The protesting is seen as a distraction by not only teachers– but students as well.

“It’s just ironic and hypocritical,” said Sana Arshad, a senior at North.

The current mask mandate is not as much of a mandate as it is an option. Every student has the ability to opt-out of wearing a mask if they chose to do so based on personal, religious, or health reasons. Even with these three reasons, teachers cannot force a student to wear a mask in their classroom or the hallways. There are many students in classrooms who choose not to wear a mask, and just as many walking around the hallways without a mask. 

Many Edmond students disagree with the steps that parents are choosing to take– some believe that they are being overdramatic, and others believe that following the guidelines set to protect themselves and those around them is the right thing to do. 

Students are practically given the choice of what they want to do in a class room– regardless of the current mandates.

As of October 8th, Edmond North has 14 students out due to COVID. North currently has the highest number of students in quarantine throughout all of the Edmond schools. 

Shellem continued on in the interview to say that all of the parents want the healthy kids to continue going to school, even though exposure can be the thing that makes a healthy child sick, resulting in a bigger outbreak of COVID throughout the school. 

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