Anger, frustration as Menomonee Falls parents talk masks at Board of Education meeting

NOW: Anger, frustration as Menomonee Falls parents talk masks at Board of Education meeting

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MENOMONEE FALLS, Wis. (CBS 58) -- Dozens of people packed Monday night's school board meeting to weigh in on the district's mask policy. Right now, the district recommends students wear masks, but does not require them.

The board did discuss a procedural change that could require a school board vote if administrators feel a mask mandate is necessary. And it still brought out a lot of passion from both sides.

Parent Colleen Leahy addressed the board, saying, "If another mask mandate is put into place, I will pull my son from this district."

But parent Andrew Busk wants the masks mandated, saying, "The simple requirement of wearing a mask to keep each other safe seems to be a problem."

There was passion, frustration, even anger at the meeting, as parents weighed in on another school year coping with the coronavirus. People opposed to a mask mandate were much more vocal than the pro-mask side.

Parent Kevin Graves says, "COVID is not a zero-sum virus that is going to go away, no matter what draconian measures we take."

But others like Ian Dickman spoke for young students like his second-grade daughter, who is not yet eligible for a vaccine. Since masks are currently optional, Dickman told the board, "Why let your guard down now? Please tell the parents and our children why the CDC recommendations are wrong. Or why the Wisconsin Department of Health Services is wrong."

An anti-mask protest before the meeting drew people from as far away as Appleton. Danielle Fulsher attended and said she feels her daughter is treated differently for not wearing a mask. "I definitely do. I feel like there are moms that don't invite us over or have playdates, and there's moms that are all on the same page."

Dr. Lisa Baumann Kreuziger spoke up, she works with the National Institutes of Health and says masks are helping. "Children under 12 can't be vaccinated, and masks are a critical component to keeping them safe."

Emma Stueland is a senior at Menomonee Falls High School, and says she goes to school to see her friends and get human interaction.

"Last year we put up with it because we were all still trying to figure out what was going on with the whole pandemic, but this year we had enough, we’re done.”

The board president says masks were optional for summer school and it worked well, and that's how they'll start the year.

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