Oak Creek-Franklin School District votes for optional masks; Burlington, Cudahy districts take no action

Updated: 9:33 p.m. on Aug. 9, 2021

MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- Several Milwaukee-area school boards took up the issue of mask requirements and Covid protocol Monday night, Aug. 9.

Masks will be optional for students in the Oak Creek-Franklin joint school district this fall. That decision was approved by the district's Board of Education at their meeting Monday night.

The West Allis-West Milwaukee School District voted to start the school year with a universal mask requirement in every grade level.

In Cudahy, board members talked about Covid-related restrictions, including masks and other protocols, but opted not to take any action until their next meeting on Aug. 23.

At the Burlington High School auditorium, school board members heard from very vocal parents in opposition to masks in schools.

The board eventually decided to end public discussion and did not take any action on Covid restrictions in schools.

The Wauwatosa school board began taking comments from the public Monday night, but has not yet voted on a safety plan. 

CBS 58 will provide updates when they become available. 


Posted: 4:24 p.m. on Aug. 9, 2021

MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- Burlington Area School District Board President Peter Turke said debates of last school year around virtual classes have shifted.

"This year that really isn't on the table," Turke said. "We're fully anticipating to start fully in person. But now the issue has shifted to, do we make masks optional? Or do we make masks mandatory?"

Burlington will have similar conversations to the Wauwatosa, Oak Creek-Franklin and West Allis-West Milwaukee School Boards Monday, Aug. 9.

Some parents are against a mandate.

"I think that the kids should decide if they want to wear a mask or not," Wauwatosa parent America Manley said. "Especially if they're in physical activities, or even if they're in gym. They shouldn't have to wear a mask because it's hard to breathe with a mask on."

Others say a mask mandate is the safest option.

"I just feel like it's the best safety, the safety of our children first, so that way we can safety the rest of the community because it starts with the children," Burlington School District parent Jerome Watts said.

Some parents don't care one way or the other. Others are prepared to take more drastic measures.

"I already know a handful of people who have pulled their kids out," West Allis-West Milwaukee parent Jen Graff said. "They're going to other school districts that don't require that, or they're putting them in private schools."

Turke wants parents to know just like last year, the board's decisions are fluid.

"I don't know how the board is going to decide," Turke said. "I think it's a difficult issue. And it will be, I just want to emphasize it's just for the start of the school year."

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