College Community School District to require masks for some students

Published: Sep. 21, 2021 at 5:10 AM CDT
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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) - The College Community School District voted on Monday night to begin requiring masks for Kindergarten through 6th grade students beginning on Wednesday.

The contentious issue of mask mandates in schools was on display at the College Community School District Board meeting in Cedar Rapids on Monday night.

Since the first week of school, 64 students and staff have tested positive, and an additional 117 have quarantined.

At Monday’s meeting, plenty of parents voiced their opinions on how they want the district to proceed.

The people who addressed the school board members were interrupting each other and arguing amongst themselves.

“I just think that my children, if they aren’t sick, why do they need to wear a mask? It’d be different if they were symptomatic, then I would say stay home, but if there’s nothing that’s causing anyone to think that they’re ill, I don’t understand why they need to wear a mask.” Sarah Specht, one of the parents at the meeting, said.

But there were parents that were in favor of a mask mandate.

“Science shows that masks are effective at preventing transmissions, not 100 percent effective, but it reduces transmissions significantly, and I want schools to be safe for everyone,” Jaquelyn Zillan, another parent at the meeting, said.

While Iowa law bans mask mandates, a federal judge put enforcement of that law on hold, saying it put disabled children at risk.

The school board will hold a meeting in October to decide on an end date for the mandate.

EDITOR’S NOTE: A previous version of this story incorrectly said the district’s meeting ended without a decision being made regarding requiring masks.

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