Polish Education Council decides on masks in class

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POLAND, Ohio (WKBN) – Poland Schools made a tough decision Monday night about whether or not their students will wear back-to-school masks.

With only three days before the start of the school year, the Education Council was due to make a decision on the masks in the classroom.

At Monday night’s school board meeting, many were pushing the board to make the choice to wear an optional mask for their children.

“So that our children are in the least restrictive environment possible and in a very stimulating environment in the sense that they can grow emotionally and continue to develop as students throughout the school year”, said Dennis Schiraldi, a parent.

Parents believe their request for parental choice is reasonable.

“We need definitive answers and we don’t feel like we’re asking for something completely absurd,” said Evangela Hazimihalis, another parent present at the meeting.

In the end, the board followed the recommendations of the CDC and the county health board and voted three to two in favor of a mask mandate.

“We have listened to each person tonight. We didn’t have to. The board listened to every person and to the people who didn’t sign up. I feel bad for the people who didn’t get what they wanted tonight, ”said Superintendent Craig Hockenberry.

The decision comes with a few wrinkles.

The mask term is only for Kindergarten to Grade 6 and only for 20 days. For students in grades 7 through 12, masks will be optional.

“The amendment was made because K at six does not have the opportunity to vaccinate; therefore, they wanted to protect these children, ”Hockenberry said.

Hockenberry also addressed concerns about the lack of use of masks during the recent football game.

“Tonight was based on the classroom – kindergarten through 12th grade indoors. The football game and the football games all over the country are completely separate, ”he said.

The decision whether or not to extend the mandate or to apply it to more or less students will be taken at the next regular meeting in September.


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