Tension filled the room last night at Indian Prairie School District 204’s school board meeting as the topic of mask wearing was on the agenda.
Two weeks ago the district voted and passed optional mask wearing for the start of the school year.
Since then many things have changed said Doug Eccarius, the district’s deputy superintendent.
“A new executive order was issued by our governor, positivity rates and new cases [of COVID-19] have increased, and we have received feedback from our local health departments, parents, teachers, and legal counsel,” said Eccarius.
Governor JB Pritzker’s Mask Wearing Mandate
The district will follow the governor’s mandate for all students, teachers, and staff to be masked in school regardless of vaccination status until it is lifted.
There is no timeline on when that will be, but afterwards the district will revert back to its plan of tier mitigation strategies.
Some parents at the meeting said masks should be their choice, with one reading a poem to express her feelings.
“I think masks are evil and do more harm than good so please consider our kids and rid them for good,” said D204 parent Lisa Zarkin. “At least give them a choice that’s all that we are asking. Don’t worry I’m done returning, because I’m hopeful you’ll do the right thing and fight for all of our freedoms.”
Consequences If Mandate Is Not Followed
But District 204 Superintendent Dr. Adrian Talley said there could be consequences if they don’t follow the governor’s mandate.
“By not following the guidelines the following could very well happen, said Talley. “IDPH (Illinois Department of Public Health) can come and shut down the school or school system. The state’s superintendent and the Illinois State Board of Education could remove our recognition status, which would impact our funding from the state and our ability to play sports.”
Students who fail or refuse to wear a mask could face disciplinary actions, the district said.
The first day for District 204 is August 19.
Naperville News 17’s Christian Canizal reports.
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