OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — On Monday night, people gathered in Elkhorn to tell the school board what they think should be done about masks in schools.
Physician after physician told the Elkhorn Board of Education and the room of more than 100 people that cases of COVID are on the rise.
"We are now seeing that this virus is hitting our children hard, and one of the best ways that we have to protect them especially if we want them to go to in-person schooling is to wear masks," said Dr. Jeffrey Salomon, a pediatric care physician at Children’s Hospital.
They also said they think masks could aid in preventing struggling healthcare systems from becoming completely overwhelmed.
"The hospital is full. If your child is hit by a truck, they cannot come to Children's. We're going to have to fly those children to someplace else,” said Dr. Ali N. Ibrahimiye, a pediatric heart surgeon at Children's Hospital.
Some parents asked the board to require masks as their children head back to school.
"Please don't put our teachers and children, our staff, and our community in a position where you all would have to say, ‘I wish we would have listened to the experts, I wish we would have done more,’” said one speaker at the meeting.
Others demanded they be the ones making the final call.
"Hospital capacities and your fear do not get to dictate my parenting decisions and trump my rights," another meeting attendee said.
Ultimately, the Elkhorn school board stuck with its original decision to have masks be optional but says that could change as they work with the Douglas County Health Department.
Elkhorn Public Schools students return to school on Tuesday. 3 News Now reporter Kent Luetzen has more below.