Lafayette Parish parent frustrated after school denies mask exemption from son’s orthodontist

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LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY) — A Lafayette Parish Schools parent is asking why his son’s mask exemption form was denied.

Tyler Gros’s eight-year-old is still being told he must go to school with a cloth face covering despite his orthodontist recommending the opposite.

Since 2018, Gros has been trying to learn why his son has trouble breathing. His son’s tonsils were removed when an ear, nose, and throat doctor recommended it, and now there’s another recommendation from his orthodontist.

“The dentist recommended we start some kind of therapy where they place a wire within his mouth, and they begin to crank it. The orthodontist explained to my wife. My wife asked how would the mask affect that? He said well he said it will further hinder his ability to be able to breathe,” Gros explained.

Doctor’s note provided by Tyler Gros

Gros sent his son to Martial Billeaud Elementary with no mask and an orthodontist note from Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS) S. Troy Miller saying, “The above-named patient is under my care. He has been diagnosed with dentofacial functional abnormalities and is in functional growth therapy. It is my professional opinion that wearing a mask will further hinder his ability to breathe properly. Further, it is my recommendation that he is not required to wear a mask while in treatment. If you have any questions or concerns, please call my office.”

At school, the eight-year-old was told to wear a mask and given a cloth face covering exemption application for his parents to fill out. Gros said when he sent the application in, it was denied within five minutes with no explanation. He asked for a reason from the school board but says has not gotten one.

“I want an answer. I want an answer of why they are denying it. What medical credentials does the school board superintendent have that we don’t know about?
Because apparently, she’s overriding a medical professional, and I don’t understand how that is right,” Gros said.

Cloth face covering exemption application provided by Tyler Gros

He added not getting the exemption is making him question if he should delay the needed procedure.

“I don’t want to wait until he’s older, and now they say the procedure is not going to work, and now they have to do the crack of the jaw and everything else. If this is going to work, I don’t understand why my son can’t get it done at a young age because of a mask mandate,” Gros concluded.

News 10 did email the Lafayette Parish School District Public Information Officer Monday about which types of medical professionals they accept on their exemption but have not heard back as of news time.

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