September 18, 2021

T-Break

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Moms and dads argue pupil mask rule | News, Sports activities, Careers

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MIFFLINTOWN — Feelings ran substantial throughout a Wednesday evening conference of the Juniata County University District Board of Directors.

A sizable team of nearby moms and dads gathered to convey their disappointment with district enforcement of the state’s mask mandate. The group believes moms and dads and college students really should have a option no matter whether to use a mask.

Mother and father explained putting on deal with masks results in or exacerbates health and fitness difficulties in college students, and the district should really stand with mom and dad versus the purchase.

“This board was elected to depict the folks of this college district,” reported a Fermanagh Township resident.

He questioned the board to stand up for what is correct for the local community — the individual preference no matter if to don a mask — and ensured the board that the neighborhood will stand guiding and beside the board if its resistance to the get is met with ramifications from the point out.

Other mom and dad stated the mandate is illegal and, by enforcing mask wearing, administration is not carrying out its job.

But when it arrives to enforcement, Superintendent Gary Dawson claimed his hands are tied.

“The university district is expected to put into practice the order and enforce the order,” he mentioned. “My obligation as a superintendent of faculties is, I’m a commissioned officer of the point out … I should — the regulation suggests that — I will have to follow all condition and federal legislation and rules.”

Dawson explained he has consulted several solicitors, attorneys and state departments to explain the order and any exceptions. Some individuals are interpreting the order to indicate that masking is not expected, but advised.

“That’s not the feed-back I bought,” he claimed.

If students have a clinical affliction that is caused or exacerbated by putting on a mask, Dawson mentioned the district is utilizing a course of action related to a 504 plan to get rid of barriers to mastering. A 504 prepare is a way to discover and deal with specialized requirements of a pupil.

Mother and father may well submit an exception ask for to the district, which will be made use of to recognize options readily available to the unique. Dawson explained that may include a little something like putting on a facial area shield as an alternative of a mask.

He claimed there are other districts presenting unique kinds of exceptions, but this is the way he believes is legal and subsequent his obligation to the district.

He did make clear that not just about every pupil who requests an exception to mask wearing will have a 504 program. It is merely the process, or a comparable process, getting utilized for documentation within just the district.

District Solicitor Scott Etter stated there are 500 general public university districts in the commonwealth, and his comprehension is that 451 of them are following the state’s mask mandate.

“I never think it is a close get in touch with – we are topic to the order,” he claimed.

Also for the duration of the meeting, Dawson gave a brief summary of the Section of Health pointers for contact tracing, COVID exposure and busing.

The faculty board will maintain a voting assembly at 8 p.m. Sept. 16 at the administration business in Mifflintown.

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