NEW HAVEN, Ind. (WFFT) -- East Allen County Schools passed a resolution for their opening plan for the next school year.
The majority of board members voted to allow students to have a choice as to whether or not to wear a mask - following guidance from the Allen County Department of Health.
“The resolution that we passed, we just wanted people to know what our desire is what we would love for the fall to look like and that would be mask choice,” East Allen County School Board President Todd Buckmaster said.
Buckmaster says there is wording in the document that connects the district with state and local officials’ guidance.
“What’s best for health and what’s best for the people whether it’s mandates or whether it’s recommendations that we will still be able to weigh those options and that if we need to,” he said.
Desiree Koger-Gustafson is a strong supporter of mask choice.
“The mental hardship that our kids go through and the lack of any meaningful harm to them from covid at this point. We’re a year and three months or so into it. It just seems like the two weeks or three weeks to flatten the curve has just really worn out its welcome,” she said.
A mother-of-two Ariel Black spoke on the podium about her concern for her children’s mental health.
“I’ve heard people say with my son’s cancer journey that children are very resilient, but I personally don’t know a single adult that’s not carrying around childhood trauma,” Black said.
The one board member to vote against the resolution was Paulette Nellems.
“Did we even discuss this with the communities that are disproportionately affected?”
Nellems is referring to people of color. She worries their voices aren’t being heard in this issue.
EACS says this resolution is meant to be flexible as new information and research comes out.
Many members say it’s difficult to tell what the climate will be like three months out.