Returning to School – Masks Optional

Hundreds of parents throughout the 3rd Congressional District have verbalized their frustration with unresponsive and dismissive school boards, particularly in relation to the mandatory mask policy that many schools maintain.

I encourage you to bring these issues to the board’s attention and to ask for them to vote to make masks optional, if that is your choice for your children.

Unfortunately, many boards have continued to ignore your wishes to be involved in the health decisions for your children or to even allow your voices to be heard.

If that is the case, you have a couple of avenues for redress:

  1. Write to your local papers and name the board members by name so that when it comes time for reelection, people will understand that these members have chosen to be unresponsive to parents.
  2. Gather as many like minded parents and attend every meeting of the board and insist on being heard.
  3. Call your State Representatives and Senators and ask them to speak to the board members.
  4. Run for the board position yourself.

Statement to Elm Mound School Board:

The Wisconsin Supreme Court, in a 4-3 decision, invalidated Governor Evers’ public health emergency declarations on March 31, 2021. The Court’s decision in Fabick v. Evers, 2020AP1718-OA, March 31, 2021 declared a series of public health emergency declarations invalid[1].

Wisconsin public schools are state property and employees of the school fall under the Wisconsin DPI.

The building and staff are not subject to President Biden’s EO mandating masks on federal property. The exception being when students and staff board school busses for transportation to school or other activities including sports.

This means if individual school boards decide to require students and staff to continue to wear masks in class, that they are responsible for this decision, not the Governor’s office.

Schools are not just buildings that teach students reading and writing, they are institutions that are part of the development of young adults into responsible, informed citizens.

The interplay taking place between the executive and judicial branches of the government of the state of Wisconsin is an outstanding opportunity to discuss the separation of powers within our government.

The guidance used by many school boards to implement the mask mandates is well over a year old and many things have changed in relation to our collective understanding of the aspects of public safety regarding the COVID-19 virus. Social distancing measurements have been halved, mask recommendations for use outdoors, and most importantly, several vaccines have been developed and distributed.

By March 2021, every staff member in Wisconsin schools have had the opportunity to be vaccinated by this point in time, so if they are not, this is a conscious choice and this individual decision by the teachers should be respected.

I encourage all school boards to thoughtfully consider the safety of our students with the ability of parents to participate in this decision making process.