Swan River School to drop mask mandate April 5

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Mar. 9—The Swan River School Board voted Monday to allow teachers to dictate whether or not masks are required in their classrooms until April 5, when masks will no longer be mandated on campus.

Of the nearly one dozen members of the public who addressed the board, the vast majority opposed a mask requirement. Parents were against the use of masks for varying reasons. Some said their children had anxiety or breathing issues, while others expressed doubt about their effectiveness and the seriousness of the virus itself. Advocates of continued mask use felt that teachers, who are eligible to be vaccinated next week, should be given the chance to get their shots before removing masks in the classroom.

After hearing public comments and sharing their own views on the issue, board members settled on a policy that leaves teachers in charge of mask use within their classroom from now through April 2. All board members voted in favor of the new policy, with the exception of trustee Sherianne Schow, who abstained. The policy sets the responsibility on teachers to enforce the use of masks in their rooms, should they decide to require them at all. Beginning April 5, students, staff and guests can choose to wear a mask or not.

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