A Pennsylvania school district that openly disobeyed a state mandate for facemasks in K-12 schools reversed its decision and now it has decided to require face masks for students and others inside school buildings.
As reported by nbcphiladelphia.com, the Tamaqua Area School Board voted 6-3 on Tuesday night to comply with the masking order from the state Health Department, which requires students, staff and visitors to cover their faces while indoors.
The decision was made Tuesday night. The Tamaqua Area School Board voted six to three to comply with the state Department of Health’s masking order, which requires students, staff and visitors to cover their faces when indoors.
Pennsylvania school districts had largely followed the masking order, even as some exploited an apparent loophole that made it easier for parents to request medical exemptions for their children. But Tamaqua had opted to make masks optional, drawing the ire of state officials.
Pennsylvania school districts had largely followed the masking order. However, some used an apparent loophole that made it easier for parents to apply for medical exemptions for their children. Tamaqua´s option was to make the masking optional. This position upset state officials.
A rebellious district
The state education secretary, Noe Ortega accused Tamaqua of “flagrantly violating” the order and warned of several consequences if Tamaqua board members did not require students and others to be masked. In a Sept. 8 letter to Tamaqua board members, Ortega said that they could face fines, civil lawsuits, canceled liability insurance policies and even referrals to federal civil rights enforcers.
After the vote, the Tamaqua superintendent said universal masking would begin Oct. 4. He said an exemption form was under development and would be available by Friday.