Despite incorrect information floating on social media, a Wauseon Elementary School fifth grade student did not suffer a brain injury last Thursday from wearing a mask during physical education.
According to Troy Armstrong, Wauseon schools superintendent, the student did suffer a brain bleed after a running exercise but the condition is congenital. The student is recovering in an area hospital.
The student was not wearing a mask during the exercise, and a mask had no bearing on the student’s injury.
Armstrong said the student ran on an outside track during a physical education class but did not fall or collapse during the activity. However, the student’s teacher noticed after the student returned from physical education that the student wasn’t acting well, and was told the student didn’t feel well.
After examination by a school nurse, a parent was notified and the student was released.
According to information on the parent’s Facebook page, the student suffered from an arteriovenus malformation, a congenital disorder, and will recover.
Armstrong emphasized that, while physical education students are required to wear masks during learning periods, they don’t wear them during strenuous exercises during which they’re six feet apart.
“It’s called physical education class, so sometimes the class is total instruction, where kids are learning (and wear masks),” he said.
The superintendent said notice was sent out to parents after the incident. He said he received a single email response, and the school district’s principals each received one or two phone calls. Armstrong said the majority of the calls were supportive of the school district, “saying, ‘We know kids don’t wear masks during Wauseon gym class.”
He added that students do wear masks during recess but can go to a designated “mask break” area if necessary.
Armstrong said when individuals have a concern they should directly call the principal of the involved school for information on process and procedure. “That’s where you’re going to get the facts,” he said.
Becky Rhodes, the owner of Das Essen Haus Restaurant, is organizing a fundraiser to help the family with medical expenses. For information, call 419-445-8456.
Reach David J. Coehrs at 419-335-2010.