(CBS4) – The debate over masks in Colorado schools continues, this time with some Cherry Creek School District parents asking for a mandate. Cherry Creek School District announced Friday they would be strongly recommending that everyone wear a face covering but that it would not be required.

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Superintendent Chris Smith says that is in accordance with the requirements from their county health department.

“Last year there were public health orders that required the wearing of masks or face coverings, this year there is no public heath order,” he said.

The debate took center stage at Monday night’s school board meeting.

“Masks were very effective mitigation strategy in the classroom last year,” mother Sally Mikesell said.

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She and several others at the meeting are now part of a petition calling for board members to institute a mask mandate.

Many have concerns for those who are too young to get vaccinated against COVID-19.

“I have two kids that are vaccinated and one that isn’t. Why are we not at least airing on the side of caution for these elementary children?” April Krueger asked.

Even before parents could make their argument at the podium Smith said that as long as no heath order was in place, Cherry Creek School District schools would rely on other safety measures.

“We will continue with increased ventilation and air movement in all our classrooms as well as frequent cleaning of high touch surfaces. And our nurses will continue to work with families,” he said.

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Plenty of parents support his decision as well, and have their own petition circulating to keep masks off children.

“There are parents here against the recommendation and then there are parents here worried that you will change your mind,” Molly Lamar, who would like masks to remain voluntary, said.

Those in support of masks believe current precautions will not be enough.

“Without multiple mitigation strategies like masking we are taking a giant step backwards,” Mikesell said.

Karen Morfitt