School district ‘done with’ mask mandate

Schenectady County

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ROTTERDAM, N.Y. (NEWS10) — The Mohonasen School District has drafted a resolution rebuking the governor’s mask mandate for students to wear masks while in school. 

“A lot of parents are saying the only place in our lives where any of us wear masks is at school. It’s our children,” said Superintendent Shannon Shine. 

Tensions from parents boiled over after a letter from the New York Health Department said students no longer were required to wear masks. 

“When it didn’t happen, I think it left a lot of people pretty upset. And they said, ‘Look. We’re done with this,'” Shine said.

New York said it will end restrictions if 70 percent of adults have at least one-dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. Despite being a week away from the end of the school year, Shine said the resolution is on principle. 

“They’re willing to take a stand on principle and say, ‘Hey, even if there’s a week out for most of our students, we’re going to take a stand on this,’” Shine said.

Schenectady County leads the state in one-dose vaccinations at almost 80 percent. That’s nearly 10 percent above the state-wide bar the governor’s set to end COVID restrictions. 

“The board would have loved to go further and eliminated that mask mandate, but I had to explain we’re actually not allowed to,” Shine said. 

Ultimately, the resolution has no teeth. Shine said despite an overwhelming support of ending the mandate early by parents, he still has to follow the rules set forth by the state board of education and the governor’s office. 

“What we’re petitioning for is [to] give us that latitude so we might return things to local and parent control, which we certainly believe in here,” Shine said. 

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