Elmbrook School Board passes new COVID guidelines that leave both sides disappointed

NOW: Elmbrook School Board passes new COVID guidelines that leave both sides disappointed

BROOKFIELD, Wis. (CBS 58) -- Almost four hours of discussion at the Elmbrook School District board meeting in Brookfield Tuesday night, over whether they need to modify their COVID-19 precautions, left parents who want more precautions, or no precautions, both disappointed

This after at the beginning of the school year, they gave parents the choice to send their kids to either mask-required or mask-recommended classrooms

With slight changes, supplemental tiered COVID-19 precautions were passed by the board, with one board member, Linda Boucher, voting against.

It's something a lot of parents had a lot to say about, some even organizing a new organization to respond to the matter.

Ahead of the vote, Elmbrook School Board members acknowledged whatever they decided was going to be unpopular.

"The disease is here, and we know we have to find way to work our way through it," said Elmbrook Superintendent Mark Hansen.

It ended up being unpopular with both sides.

"I was a little bit disappointed in the response based on what they decided, because they're going to be requiring teachers and staff to test regularly as well as visitors, which would include subs," said Crystal Dalkin, district parent and sub.

On the other side, Emily Schultz, Elmbrook Parents S.O.S. co-founder, said she sees it as a half-measure, and is deeply disappointed how much disinformation the board allowed to be presented, and used as fact.

She said their group will continue to advocate for safety in schools.

"Our group is concerned that these are not being advised by medical authorities, we're not following recommendations from the CDC, and frankly, we're looking for more transparency and data driven decision-making in the process," said Schultz.

Dozens of members of the Elmbrook Parents S.O.S., or Safe and Open Schools, lined up for the school board meeting regarding the new proposed precautions.

Them, along with a smaller but sizeable amount of people who were against any further precaution.

Schultz said their group is concerned the district isn't following CDC guidelines, and contact tracing isn't happening, things they would like to see changed.

Parents on the other side of the fence say they felt like this was something that had been decided before the school year started.

"In the beginning of the school year parents did choose if they wanted to be in a mask-optional classroom or a mask-only classroom, and my understanding is that that's the choice that they made," said district parent Emily Donohue.

School board members said they're looking to prioritize in-school learning to try and get the best results from learning.

One noted that many of these things are guidelines for schools, but not always requirements.

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