Ky. Assistant pastor of church calls on schools to end masking and quarantines
On two occasions in the past few weeks, the senior teacher pastor of one of the largest churches in central Kentucky has called on the Jessamine County School Board to stop COVID-19 mitigation practices – masking, putting quarantined and tracing contacts.
“I hope that this council really wants our children to return to schools without masks, without quarantine and without contact tracing. It is time to have the courage to take this step, ”Scott Nickell, Senior Teacher Pastor at Southern Christian Church said at a school board meeting in August.
Nickell told the board: “We are exaggerating the novelty of our situation.”
“This is nothing new. The only novelty is the way we try to manage it. And it costs our children, ”Nickell said. He said the board was asking students to sacrifice the window of time they had as children, “for what amounts to a masquerade.”
Nickell told the Herald-Leader on Wednesday that the views he expressed at the meeting “do not represent Southland’s position.”
“They reflect my position as a father,” he said.
Southland Christian Church officials declined to comment on Nickell’s comments on Wednesday.
Nickell told the school board that COVID is here to stay and not go away and that many mitigation efforts don’t make sense.
In 2020, Nickell said, “we were forced to perform laughable demonstrations as proof of our desire to protect children.”
He said children are more likely to be struck by lightning than to die from COVID. Nickell was applauded by some in the audience after making his comments.
At Monday’s school board meeting, Nickell asked “when won’t we test, quarantine, mask, and spend so much time, energy and resources. to COVID mitigation? “
He said the board did not disclose the steps by which they are making this decision. Nickell said children get on school buses without seat belts and eat food prepared in schools, and district officials are taking those risks.
Nickell’s comments come at a time when at least 48 Kentucky school workers have died from COVID-19. A 15-year-old student at Fayette County schools died last week from coronavirus. Several children are in intensive care units in Kentucky hospitals, some on ventilators. Hundreds of Kentucky students have contracted COVID-19 since the start of the school year.
In response to Nickell’s comments, Jessamine Superintendent Matt Moore told the Herald-Leader that the Jessamine County School District follows scientific and evidence-based protocols to help ensure the safety and well-being of children. students and staff.
“We all hope that a return to normal operations will be possible soon,” said Moore. “Some people think the time is right to do it, even though the Delta variant affects many more young people and has more serious health effects. “
Moore said that with a large percentage of the student body not being eligible for a vaccine, it is crucial that the district use all available tools to maintain a safe environment in schools.
“To that end, Jessamine County is among ninety-seven percent of Kentucky’s public school districts that have decided to continue requiring masks for now,” Moore said.
“We appreciate the words of encouragement and the tremendous support we have received from many people who trust that we are making decisions in the best interests of our students and staff,” he said.