Petition started to drop mask mandate in Whitefish Bay schools

NOW: Petition started to drop mask mandate in Whitefish Bay schools


WHITEFISH BAY, Wis. (CBS 58) -- As schools go back to in-person learning this fall, mask policies will vary among districts. 

It's uncharted territory for school districts as they make a decision. 

The policy for Whitefish Bay School District is that any unvaccinated person attending classes or other activities inside a school this summer is required to wear a mask. 

Previously, everyone over four years of age had to wear a mask in schools. 

The policy was updated on June 23 to take into account people who've been vaccinated. 

At a school board meeting on July 15, 2021, members made it clear the policy would be re-evaluated before the 2021-22 school year. 

"I have not had the time to sift through responses that I think they are worth reviewing from the community. When we had brought up the mask policy in June in our subcommittee...we needed to make changes to get us to a better place for summer school," said Brett Christiansen, one board member at that meeting. 

Some parents want that policy changed. A petition, which has more than 400 signatures, wants masks to be optional for every student. 

It says, "students wearing face masks do not reduce the relative risk of Coronavirus." 

Parents we spoke to had differing opinions. 

"I think it needs to stay," said Mandy Severson who was picking up her daughter from Richards Elementary Thursday. "Until we get a vaccine, I hope that she is able to wear a mask. I mean, she will, but I hope those that are unvaccinated continue to wear a mask as well." 

Ed Petty has grandkids in school.

"From what I've read, I don't think that kids are a threat and I don't think they need to wear masks," said Petty. 

Board members said, "We're aware of the petition and we take community feedback seriously."

The petition cites various other schools in the North Shore that have optional masks for all students. 

The current policy is only for summer classes, but the board will consider using the guidelines for the upcoming year at a special meeting on August 3. 

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