Thursday, August 19, 2021

If You are Going to Err, Err on the Side of Safety

I know I've been posting about making our classrooms safe by requiring masks be worn by all people entering the Children's Ministry, and I know some of you may disagree, but why? Why would you disagree on something so basic as making our Children's Ministry safe? Safety is a top priority for most churches, but when it comes to covid, it seems like we have just thrown safety out the window.

We have been able to watch as schools in the southern United States opened, and then had to close again as so many children became infected with covid - and we are watching as these same states have run out of beds for children in their Children's Hospitals. It seems very clear to me, the safety of children in classrooms is a huge concern - or at least it should be.

I read an article in Time where ten Epidemiologists were interviewed about sending their children back to regular school (you will find it at this link.) Not one of them said they would let their children return to school without masks being required.

Another article in Time shared an interview with a Texas superintendent of Austin schools where she said she implemented a mask mandate because, "We have serious political divisions in this country when it comes to masking, but for me this was not a political decision but rather a deeply personal one. What if a child dies on my watch? How do I say to you, 'I’m really sorry. We did everything we could except for masking because the governor’s executive order prohibited me from doing so.' What does that do for a parent? How does it bring them comfort or solace? If we err, we will err on the side of safety. I can live with someone saying a mask mandate wasn’t necessary. Honestly, I can live with someone telling me, 'I told you so.' I cannot live with a tragedy occurring because I was afraid of the possible consequences of defying part of the governor’s order. That is just not something I’m willing to take the chance on. I realize, of course, the governor’s executive order may mean we will be fined for requiring masks. I’d rather pay money than risk a child’s life." (Read the full interview at this link.)

Requiring masks in your Children's Ministry is not and should not be a political issue. It is a safety issue. What will you say to parents/grandparents when a child in your ministry becomes ill with covid - or worse goes on a ventilator or dies - because you did not require masks? If you are going to err, err on the side of safety. Please require masks in your Children's Ministry.

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