CHICAGO — Some parents of students who attend Chicago Archdiocesan Schools say their children have carried the weight of the pandemic on their shoulders for far too long regarding Covid protocols.  

The parents met Thursday at Cork and Kerry in Beverly to discuss ideas they could present to Cardinal Blase Cupich.

“I think most people are coming around to the fact that one size fits all doesn’t work,” said Robert Cruz.  

The Archdioceses’ school policy is that all students wear masks – regardless of vaccination status.   

In a recent video message, Cupich appeared with Illinois Director of Public Health Dr. Nogzi Ezike to urge Catholics to take the vaccine.   

“Unlike last year, we have been blessed with the means to prevent hospitalizations and deaths,” Cupich said.

Because of the advancements, some parents say the mitigations in schools should be altered, namely with masks. Parents say their concerns aren’t being heard, however.  

“Right now, we need to listen to the biggest stakeholders. That’s the parents. They are the people who should be making the decisions for their children,” parent Christine Shanahan McGovern said.  

“Instead of being told, I think they want to be included in that process,” Cruz added.   

But the Archdiocese has said that individual decisions affect the community in a pandemic. It’s why they’re sticking with the masking policy for now.   

“Please come forward,” Cupich said. “Do your part and prevent illnesses.”  

Erin Heidemann, a parent of four children at Saint Catherine’s in Oak Lawn, says she hopes Thursday’s meeting allows parents to raise their voices collectively to echo to Archdiocese headquarters.

“We’re not alone,” Heidemann said. “There’s power in numbers and coming together, our message is more powerful.”

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