GC school board votes to mandate face coverings

Robert Maharry
The Grundy Register

GRUNDY CENTER- After discussing the matter at length during last month’s regular meeting, the Grundy Center school board voted 4-1 to mandate face coverings for students and staff during a special meeting held on Monday night.


Dr. Eric Neverman and Dr. Stefanie Rohler gave a presentation about the science behind the spread of COVID-19 and mitigation measures and did a question and answer session with board members.


Ultimately, the motion that passed will require face coverings “any time that social distancing cannot be implemented,” and there will be “mask free zones” and outside areas where social distancing is easier to create. Andy Lebo, who questioned the effectiveness of masks and argued against a mandate during the July meeting, was the sole dissenting vote.


Face covering options will include masks, shields and neck gaiters, and the district will provide masks and gaiters to students and staff who need them. In a subsequent interview, Superintendent Robert Hughes praised the board’s decision as a step toward creating “the safest environment possible.”


“I believe it’s the best decision we can make at this time,” he said.


Hughes went on to discuss the policies for non-compliance with the mandate, which will become more severe with multiple infractions. He stressed, however, that the ultimate plan is to work with families in a collaborative, solution seeking manner rather than a strictly punitive one.


“We acknowledge and realize that there are unique situations, and we’ll try to make accommodations as appropriate. We’ll try to be flexible and reasonable,” Hughes said. “What I would like people to understand is we’re trying as hard as we can to work with families to be as safe as possible and have the safest environment.”


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