Rachel Crostley urges parent choice on masking

Rachel Crostley gathers signatures for parent choice at the Wellsboro Tops Plaza.

Wellsboro mom Rachel Crotsley spent three days this past week gathering signatures in favor of parent choice on masking students in Wellsboro schools.

Crostley, along with parents Carla Root and Rachel Burrous, has collected almost 500 signatures from community members as of Thursday, Sept. 2.

“This petition is to make the school board pay attention to parent choice,” Crostley said. “My kids physically cannot mask.

“The school board is not listening to the community,” Crostley says. “It was so close — a four to five vote.”

The petition is entitled “Petition to Allow Parent Choice.” It states: “As the universal masking order has ended and no state or local health agency is requiring mask mandates, the Wellsboro School Board has no legal standing to enforce a mask mandate on our children.

“We parents feel we are perfectly capable of making health decisions for our children.”

Crostley has removed her three children, in middle and high school, from Wellsboro schools, and has already enrolled them in an online charter school. She made a public statement at the Wellsboro school board meeting on Aug. 24.

“You’re going to have a lot of parents pulling their kids out,” she warned.

Her two daughters and a son were helping Crostley raise awareness on Thursday afternoon. Crostley reports lots of shows of support, but also notes that drivers were name calling and insulting her children.

“I’m not against anyone’s choice to wear a mask,” she said. “But I get a choice, too.

“I’m not trying to make things hard on the teachers, or even administration,” Crostley said. “I love the teachers, but the school board has to listen to concerned parents.”

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