ALDEN, N.Y. (WKBW) — Alden Central School parents and students are demanding their voices be heard and the mask mandates dropped.
"At this point it's just unfair and not right that these children are forced to wear masks," Alden parent Carrie McCoy, said.
McCoy is one of many parents in attendance that believe the mask mandate for children under 12 is unfair, with the warmer months in schools without air conditioning making it a bigger deal.
"They're glad to be back, but it is uncomfortable and they are struggling to stay focused," McCoy said of her kids.
McCoy and the group in Alden are joined by Senate Republican leader Rob Ortt, who today called on the Governor to ease mask mandates in schools. Senator Ortt also wants the state to let school districts make mask decisions saying "at a minimum, you should empower local school districts to make these decisions in consultation with local health officials, parents and staff."
Having a seat at the table like Senator Ortt called for is something Carrie McCoy is hoping for.
"We haven't had much of a say," McCoy said.
The CDC says that mask wearing is effective in preventing transmission and important for those who are unvaccinated, which includes children under 12. As of now, the state has not announced any plans to go against those recommendations.