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Mason City CSD requests written comments ahead of mask mandate discussion

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Mason City High School first day

Students shuffle into the front doors of Mason City High School on the first day of classes on Monday.

Come Monday, Sept. 20, one of the items up for discussion at the Mason City Community School District Board of Education's next meeting will be whether to require masks in its schools.

Ahead of that meeting, the school board is requesting comments regarding a school mask mandate.

"Due to the physical limitations of the Board Room and the time limitations of Open Forum set by Board Policy 213, the Board is requesting written comments on this agenda item topic from the school district community and the Mason City community to help the Board make an informed decision about this question," a press release from the school district said.

The mask mandate agenda item is in response to a federal judge's order on Monday, Sept. 13, which prohibits the state of Iowa from enforcing a law preventing school boards from requiring masks to be worn in their schools.

Judge Robert Pratt said in an order signed Monday that the Iowa law substantially increases the risk of several children with health conditions of contracting COVID-19.

At present, Mason City Community School District's COVID-19 mitigation plan recommends but doesn't require wearing masks in school buildings.

Students, staff, parents and the public can submit their comments by visiting www.masoncityschools.org and clicking on the provided link on the article "Request for Comment Submission on Mandating Masks in School," which is found on the website's homepage.

Comments submitted there will be shared with the school board directors ahead of the meeting, included in a supporting document on the meeting agenda and recorded in the minutes in the same manner as comments made during "Open Forum."

Comments must be submitted by Friday, Sept. 17 at 12 p.m.

Clear Lake School Board decides to leave current mask guidelines as-is

The Lee Des Moines Bureau contributed to this report. 

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