Mequon-Thiensville superintendent sticking to mask mandate despite feedback from some parents

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MEQUON, Wis. (CBS 58) -- The latest in a growing list of parents fighting the mask policy in schools is Mequon-Thiensville.

Despite objections, the superintendent says he's following the guidelines of health officials and legal experts in keeping the policy for the duration of the school year.

The board met virtually, but parents, moved by the issue, decided to watch it on zoom together.

They may not have been in the same room as school board members, but they reacted, just as fired up as if they were. 

There are just a few weeks left to the 2020-21 school year, but these parents demand an end to masking now.

“We’re asking for it now, to end now, and obviously if it ends now, it would end for the summer,” said parent Amber Schroeder. 

“Masks have taken a serious emotional toll on our kids,” said parent Chad Fuller.

Board members were mixed. One said masks are not the end all, be all, and that if you walk into the high school you'll see students with masks under their noses, dangling over their chairs and on the ground.

“We’re really not getting the effectivity out of them,” said board member Andy Hopkins.

Covid-related decisions were given to the superintendent last year because of its fluid situation. 

Dr. Matt Joynt is looking at the data. 

“We did ask legal counsel to provide an opinion on the liability related to removing the face covering requirement in school. At this time we understand there would be an increased risk and potential liability for students, visitors and staff as a result of eliminating the face mask covering requirement contrary to CDC, DHS, which is the Department of Health and Human Services for the state and local health departments, guidance,” said Superintendent Matt Joynt.

Dr. Joynt said Mequon-Thiensville schools have had in-person learning all year, thanks in part to following advice from the local health department. 

Last week, Waukesha schools made masks optional. So did Elmbrook schools.

Upset parents in Mequon pointed to the local health department's website, saying their suggestions are guidelines and that communities can decide for themselves.

Some parents have started a petition to have board members who are in support of keeping masks removed from their position. 

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