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Cedarburg Schools board members vote to require masks, face coverings upon return

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CEDARBURG, Wis. (CBS 58) -- Masks or face coverings will be required when students and staff return to the Cedarburg School District.

Board members voted, five-to-one, to require them in district buildings, whenever social distancing is not possible.

Rules for sports and extracurricular activities will be discussed at a later date.

“Of course, we should try to get our children back to school," one resident said. "We know teachers won’t be able to social distance at all times, and masks must be worn by all, including children.”

This issue was part of the district’s Fall 2020 reopening discussion Wednesday night.

Not all board members supported a requirement, but some of the public, including students, think it’s a necessity.

“As students we want to go back, we know that our peers do as well," said one student who created a petition to support a mask requirement. "That’s why it’s so important for us to take every precaution possible.”

“It is not fair to ask teachers to risk their lives, or the lives of their family members, because of a student’s apparent inability to wear a mask," added another student.

One community member backed a mask-choice option.

“I believe that no one except the student’s parents or guardians should be able to mandate masks or anything else for their child," he said.

In the plan, families can also choose between virtual and in-person learning – with different checkpoints throughout the year.

Safety measures include protocols for COVID-19 cases and deep cleaning.

One educator told board members that she misses her students, but some teachers have real concerns over the virus.

“But I also urge you to pass a re-opening plan that accommodates for the real fear of educators in this time," she said.

Registration for in-person or virtual learning starts July 31 through August 7.

School is set to begin on September 8.

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