PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – The difficulty of mandating masks is dividing faculty districts and faculty boards throughout the area. To some, it’s a matter of well being and security. To others, it’s a difficulty of alternative and particular person freedom.
At 1 a.m. Thursday, the North Allegheny faculty board voted to overturn the superintendent’s order to requiring necessary masking — another heated debate over masking that has gripped the area.
A vote on masks was not even on the agenda, however Vienna Zamperini, a rising second-grader, addressed the board, thanking the district for making them necessary.
“I used to be very glad you modified the masks coverage as a result of I used to be very nervous this summer time,” she stated.
However a heated debate ensued and lasted hours. Lastly after 1 a.m., the board voted 6 to three to as an alternative make masks non-obligatory.
As the primary day of faculty approaches, the controversy grows ever extra heated.
“I imagine that when you give mother and father alternative, you might be permitting a choose group of fogeys to resolve to harm different youngsters by transmitting a lethal virus to different children,” stated pro-mask father or mother Lynne Williams.
“What’s finest for my youngster might not be finest on your youngster and vice versa. In order mother and father, we must always have the liberty to make the alternatives which can be finest for our children,” stated Judy Rumpler.
The North Allegheny faculty board overturned the superintendent’s order, and the district put out a press release saying that when faculty begins on Monday, the selection will probably be as much as the person father or mother.
“Very glad. Positively, it needs to be a alternative of the mother and father not of the college,” stated Heidi Lyon from Wexford.
Whereas districts like Pittsburgh, Fox Chapel and Shaler are requiring necessary masking, they’re within the minority. Within the absence of a compulsory order from the state Well being Division, districts by and enormous are recommending however not ordering mask-wearing.
The Butler Space Faculty solicitor says the college board doesn’t have the facility to order necessary masking and in North Allegheny, the board overruled its personal superintendent to the upset of some mother and father.
“She is the one one who is involved with the Well being Division and the district doctor and it’s together with her purview to resolve what’s finest for our college students,” stated father or mother Katie Leslie.
One notable exception is the Catholic faculties within the Diocese of Pittsburgh, which as a non-public establishment could make its personal guidelines. Regardless of pushback from many mother and father, the Diocese believes masks have been the important thing to offering in-classroom instruction final faculty 12 months.
“We did shut for a time frame however more often than not we have been open and I do attribute that to masks,” stated Michelle Peduto with the Diocese.
However once more, with out an order from the state Well being Division, this situation is being determined district by district and it’ll stay very divisive as COVID numbers proceed to rise.
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