GENEVA – Some parents are planning to comment at the Geneva District 304 school board’s Monday night meeting about their opposition to mandatory masks for the upcoming school year, according to their posts on social media.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently released guidance for school districts on COVID-19 mitigations for the 2021-22 school year, which the Illinois Department of Public Health has adopted. A major element of the updated guidance includes masks being worn indoors by all individuals age 2 and older who are not fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
State officials also continue to encourage physical distancing of at least 3 feet and students and staff staying home if they are sick to help reduce the risk of transmission.
A posting by Geneva resident Ashlee White, administrator for Reopen Illinois Schools - D304, an open Facebook page, encourages parents to email Superintendent Kent Mutchler and the school board to push for making masks optional as parental choice. White did not respond to voicemail or email messages seeking comment.
The posting also instructs parents to make points of: “No segregation or discrimination of any kind, whether it be masking or social distancing, no Covid testing or contact tracing.”
The posting also states that they “want a space Monday where ALL can attend the meeting & where we can hear each person’s public comment.”
The posting instructs parents to “make it personal & also factual.”
“Let the board know that we are aware that they have the authority to make masks optional!!!” the posting states.
Geneva 304 Parent Co-op, a private Facebook page, had posted information about the Monday night meeting, instructing them to wear blue, “Show up to tell the school board, ‘Unmask our kids!’”
The meeting is at 7 p.m. at the Coultrap Educational Services Center, 227 N. Fourth St., Geneva.
“Recently, the Illinois State Board of Education gave the local school boards the power to unmask children in public schools,” the Facebook post also states. “Several nearby (Illinois) school boards, with the encouragement of parents, have already made masks optional for the upcoming school year (and) we want Geneva children unmasked too!”
The Facebook post also states that parents don’t have to speak, “but your presence is important.”
Geneva District 304 School Board President Taylor Egan could not be reached for comment Friday.
St. Charles District 303 parents came to a meeting recently to ask officials to make masks optional for the coming school year.
D-303 board members will discuss the issue more at their Learning and Teaching Committee meeting at 5 p.m. on July 19.