English Valleys Community School District votes to require masks

Published: Oct. 15, 2020 at 9:17 AM CDT
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NORTH ENGLISH, Iowa (KCRG) - The English Valleys Community School District voted Wednesday night to put a mask mandate in place, making it one of the first districts to change its original decision to not require masks.

The school board listened to more than an hour of discussion from teachers and parents before voting 3 to 2 in favor of a requiring masks.

Chris Hester was one of several teachers at the meeting in favor of a mandate. She said a lot of kids aren’t wearing masks to school.

“With covid getting worse all the time and that being the message that has been, pretty much, spoken about as the way to keep the virus at bay, I think that it is just necessary and it’s the responsible thing to do,” Hester said.

Cassie O’Rourke has two children who attend English Valleys. She said masks take away from children’s ability to communicate with teachers, and that it shouldn’t be up to the district if her kids wear a mask to school. She said she believes it should be a parent’s choice. English Valleys Superintendent made his official recommendation in favor of a mask mandate, citing public health recommendations.

He said moving to a mask mandate policy will allow the district to reduce the number of students that are required to quarantine. The governor’s office only requires children who are exposed to quarantine if they weren’t wearing masks. The district will have extra masks on hand for students who need them.

The mandate will go into effect Monday.

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