City of Centerville Schools Vote to Rescind Mask Requirement – WHIO TV 7 and WHIO Radio


CENTREVILLE – In front of dozens of parents on Monday night, the Centerville City School Education Council voted to cancel the district’s mask requirement for the next school year.

Following a recommendation from Superintendent Tom Henderson, council members voted unanimously to remove the mandate in school buildings, despite several members strongly recommend wearing masks among unvaccinated students and staff, and noting that a recent state law passed in Columbus largely “tied (their) hands” in making this decision.

The vote came just hours after the American Academy of Pediatrics released new guidelines on Monday, recommending, for schools, “universal masking because a significant portion of the student body is not yet eligible for vaccines.” adding: “Many schools will not have a system to monitor immunization status.

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The latest guidance from the Centers for Disease Control, released July 9, also recommends masking indoors in those who are not fully vaccinated.

Some parents who spoke at Monday night’s meeting in Centerville praised the board’s leadership and decision-making.

“I’m here to thank the board,” said one parent.

“I am happy that we have made the decision to give people the freedom to wear a mask,” said another.

But parent Amy Boyd has expressed concern about the change, noting that she has a child with a weakened immune system. She applied for an e-learning option.

“I’m not asking parents to suck it off and, ‘We’re all going to wear masks,” she said. “I am just asking for an alternative for our children who cannot come to school with children not wearing masks. And who are not vaccinated.

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To date, the Food & Drug Administration has only issued an emergency use authorization for Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine for children 12 years of age and older. Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines have emergency use authorization for people 18 years of age and older.

Several Board of Education members mentioned any possibility of having mask requirements for unvaccinated students and no requirements for vaccinated largely disappeared after Gov. Mike DeWine signed new state law. last week, passed by the Ohio House and Senate, prohibiting districts from “discriminating” against students who have not been vaccinated.

“We’re sort of in this stalemate where everyone has to be treated the same, whether they’re vaccinated or not. So the choice for us to hide everyone again, or not to hide anyone, sort of left us with a ton of choices, ”said Dr David Roer, Centerville Education Board Member and Pediatrician. , to Sean Cudahy of News Center 7 after Monday night’s decision.

“Was this the decision you really wanted to come to?” Cudahy asked.

“I think that’s the decision we needed to come to at this point,” Roer said. “What we wanted and what needs to happen … two different things.”

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The law passed by state lawmakers also prohibited school districts in Ohio from requiring vaccines without full FDA approval – which current COVID-19 vaccines have yet to receive.

Still, Centerville School officials made it clear Monday that they would strongly recommend the masks for people not fully vaccinated – although that won’t be a requirement.

“We’d love to wear face masks, but now it would be up to everyone to decide whether to wear them at school – or at work if you’re on staff,” said Henderson.

The district added that face coverings will be required on board school buses, citing federal mandates for public transportation.

For parents concerned about their child’s health amid relaxed mask requirements, Henderson said school leaders would be willing to work with families on a case-by-case basis, even if the district plans an in-person return, five days a week of learning.


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