Seattle Kindergarteners reportedly made to mask-up between bites during silent lunch

Queen Anne Elementary School in Seattle had been forcing students as young as kindergarten-age to eat meals in freezing temperatures outside, despite many Washington schools walking back COVID-19 measures after public outcry.

When those elementary students cannot eat outside, they are made to eat socially distanced, silently, and must keep their masks on between bites while inside. 

The school, in an email to parents, thanked children who are “…bringing yoga mats and towels to sit on, and staff and I have marked off 6 ft. distances so students know their ‘spots’ on the basketball court.” When it rains, children are moved to covered areas, while still outdoors, and sit six feet apart to continue to be socially distanced. 

But, as the note to parents continues, “…if the rain is ‘coming down sideways’…students whose parents have completed the Eating in the Cafeteria Permission Form During Extreme Weather” will be given the choice of continuing their lunch under the coverings and “[make] the best of it,” or they could go inside to the cafeteria.

In the cafeteria, students are still made to sit socially distanced in their “eating spots.” As the email states, according to the schools Extreme Weather Cafeteria Use, “Eating indoors will be a silent, ‘focused on eating’ affair, meaning that students will sit, get out their lunch, slip off mask, return mask between bites, and eat silently.” 

The email outlining how lunch time would operate in Queen Anne Elementary School was originally sent in October. Parents noted that the practice continued until winter break, but the school did not comment on whether the restrictions would still be in place following the return from break.

Seattle Public Schools sent out their own email to parents on Monday, which made many believe that there would almost certainly be a return to remote learning under the conditions listed. 




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