FRANKLIN — Parents and students on both sides of the mask mandate within the Franklin School District showed up at Wednesday's school board meeting to speak during public comment. The issue was not on the agenda, but has been talked about in previous meetings.
Many of the parents asked that the mandate be removed.
“I was going to ride the year out like most parents, but hearing that it’s going into next year, I can’t do this anymore,” said one parent. She was referencing the board’s previous decision to move forward with masks to start the 2021-2022 school year in the fall.
Two students spoke to the board about removing the mask requirement. One said: “The mask mandate is over at church, and at some stores too, so why isn’t it over at the schools?
The other student said: “We are the ones who are affected by what you decide. We are the ones that have to wear a mask for almost eight hours a day.”
While in the minority at the meeting, there were those who wanted the board to keep the mask requirement. One Franklin High School sophomore said: “I pray that you decide to enforce this same policy moving forward into the 2021-2022 school year. If we do this, then I can say I am proud to be part of the school that is actively taking steps to protect me and my friends.”
Since the issue was not on the agenda, the board did not discuss it. The board president did however read a statement that said in part: “District leaders also stated that they would continue to review new information, changing conditions, and additional recommendations leading up to the start of the school year, modifying the plan as needed.”
The district only has 18 days left on this calendar year, and it appears the mask requirement will remain. They have said they will take a look at the outdoor mask requirement for summer school, and open discussion throughout the summer for the fall school session.