Life Advice



Ask Amy: Mom ‘unmasks’ some schoolchildren

Amy Dickinson, Tribune Content Agency on

Dear Amy: My 8-year-old daughter, “Jasmine,” started in-person school this fall.

The other day, while waiting to pick her up, I started chatting with the mother of one of Jasmine’s close friends.

This parent confided in me that she had been sending her own daughter to school wearing a mesh mask, so that her child could “finally breathe” and get around the “stupid mask mandates.”

What’s worse, she claimed to have learned about these masks (that look like regular ones) from another parent in the class, which means my child is likely interacting with at least two students who are essentially maskless.

I was appalled. This mother was not only endangering her own child, but also putting her daughter’s classmates at risk of catching a potentially deadly virus. Since Jasmine wears a multi-layer mask with a filter every day (and I trust her to follow all the mask rules at school), could she get COVID from one of her friends who wears a useless mask?

And how do I address this situation with the other parent? Should I speak with her again, or bring this up with Jasmine’s teacher or school administration?


I don’t want to pull Jasmine out of school, since she’s been so happy to see her classmates in real life again, but I would do so if I needed to keep her safe.

Your advice?

– Exasperated Mom

Dear Exasperated: Any mask that allows air to flow through unfiltered obviously does not do what masks are intended to do. Furthermore, if this mask is deliberately made to appear as if it is made of solid and filtering fabric, then the intent is to deceive.


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