An online Change.org petition is asking the Columbia Board of Education to consider student masking again, before its next regular meeting on Monday.
"Sign this to request CPS holds an emergency board session to vote on mask mandates & Covid policy," the petition reads. "The situation has drastically changed since December’s vote."
More than 2,000 had signed the petition by Tuesday afternoon.
The school board voted 4-3 on Dec. 13 to remove the mask requirement for students when they returned on Tuesday.
Another group of parents is opposed to requiring students to wear masks.
One of those signing the petition in favor of masking was Ginny Chadwick, a former member of the Columbia City Council.
"Children have unnecessarily suffered in this pandemic by event cancellations and school closures," Chadwick wrote of her reason for signing. "We must do everything possible to mitigate the spread so that children’s lives are less disrupted and fewer staff are out with the virus."
Chadwick said in a phone interview that school officials must do everything they can to keep children in school. Children suffer psychologically if they're not in school, she said.
"It is clear from Missouri data that masks prevent spread of the virus," Chadwick said.
Not all children have had an opportunity to receive their second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine in school, she said.
Another signer of the petition identified herself as a student.
"I’m a student in the district and masking is a safety protocol that we need to keep up," the person wrote online. "My fear is that when we go back to school, maskers will be in the minority, rendering them practically useless. The school board needs to rethink this decision for immunocompromised people, teachers and those who can’t be vaccinated."
A return to using masks at the classroom, building or district level is possible if needed temporarily, said school district spokeswoman Michelle Baumstark.
"The decision by the Board of Education was a difficult decision and is based on the increased availability of vaccines in our community," Baumstark said. "Masks will continue to be encouraged as a mitigation strategy that offers another layer of protection. Federal orders still require masks on school buses."
This article originally appeared on Columbia Daily Tribune: Petition asks Columbia Board of Education to discuss student masks