Nampa school board shuts down meeting on mask mandate after attendees boo, shout

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The Nampa school board abruptly adjourned a meeting after attendees booed and yelled at a parent testifying in favor of the district’s mask requirement.

The board of trustees held a special meeting Wednesday to discuss the district’s mask mandate. The meeting lasted only 20 minutes, because Mandy Simpson, the board chair, adjourned it following yelling and booing from the audience.

Simpson warned throughout the short meeting that it would be adjourned if the audience was not respectful. She also thanked the Nampa police officers who were on hand.

“It is OK if you are upset or angry, however we encourage all in this room to participate in this process with respect and civil discourse,” Simpson told the crowd.

It is unclear how many people were in attendance, though a video recording of the meeting from the Nampa School District shows a few open seats and many audience members holding signs.

Two people spoke in favor of removing the mask requirement. One parent spoke in favor of keeping it to protect against COVID-19. After that parent finished her testimony, audience members shouted and booed, and someone yelled “get off the stage.”

Simpson immediately adjourned the meeting with no decision made on the mask requirement.

In a Facebook post after the meeting, the district wrote, “For now, there is no change in our Reopening Plan and expectations for masks at school and in other district buildings remain the same. We appreciate your patience, as well as your efforts to support our staff and allow them to focus on their classrooms and end this school year on a positive note.”

A district survey of 2,897 Nampa School District parents found 20% supported a continuation of the district’s current requirements, 15% supported masks indoors only, and 64% supported making masks optional.

The last day of school for most Nampa School District students is Thursday, May 27.

On Friday, Boise Mayor Lauren McLean lifted that city’s mask mandate. The move follows new recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention saying it is safe for fully vaccinated people to be maskless in most indoor and outdoor settings.