Some Menomonee Falls parents call for end to school mask mandate
Correction: A previous version of this story indicated there would be a parent survey. That was an error. The parent survey has already been concluded.
MENOMONEE FALLS, Wis. (CBS 58) -- Some parents in Menomonee Falls are demanding the district end the mask mandate.
Several showed up to speak at the school board meeting Monday night, May 10, carrying signs protesting masks.
Menomonee Falls schools currently require masks for students and staff, but some parents want that to end now, or at the very least, by the time summer school starts.
“Parents can make the best decision for their children,” one mom said.
Several spoke during public comment. Some got emotional, saying masks are hurting students' ability to learn.
“My daughter has autism,” one mom said through tears. “She doesn’t want to wear a mask. She doesn’t learn. You need to make them optional. You’re taking away social cues of children.”
One man did speak in favor requiring masks.
“Anything less puts anyone at risk, including those who haven’t been vaccinated yet and those who aren’t eligible to be vaccinated,” he said.
The school board president, Faith VanderHorst, says she’s received dozens of letters supporting masks. The superintendent says they are following health department guidelines.
Last week, the Waukesha County Health Department said kids no longer need to quarantine after coming in contact with someone who has COVID in a school setting if the district has COVID precautions in place, including mask requirements.
“Not having to quarantine students allows us to maximize those students' time in school, minimize time out of school. We know that’s where they learn best,” said Superintendent Cory Golla.
VanderHorst says she is listening to both sides on this issue. She adds the board will survey parents and students about masks and talk with the district’s attorney before deciding if masks will be optional in summer school.
“We hear you, but we’re taking everything seriously before we make a big step along the way,” VanderHorst said.
The mask issue will now go to the school board’s policy committee for further discussion.