BY: STAFF REPORT | BocaNewsNow.com
BOCA RATON, FL (BocaNewsNow.com) (Copyright © 2021 MetroDesk Media, LLC) — The classroom teachers association which represents teachers in the Palm Beach County School District wants masks to remain mandatory through the end of the school year.
The school year ends in mid-June.
This email was just sent to the School Board from CTA President Justin Katz:
The main purpose of this email is to ask you to support the existing position that I believe is held by the district staff and many on the board, to keep the mask mandate inside of our schools in place through the conclusion of the current school year. I have publicly stated that come August, time and circumstance will dictate what should take place for 2021-2022 and that obviously includes the likelihood that mandatory masking will fall the wayside and optional masking may become the appropriate course of action. Time will tell on all of that, but I am personally optimistic and hope that we do get to that point. For the good of all students wishing to return to our campuses and the general safety of everyone in our communities.
But as for the current school year, we are a mere 6 weeks from closing out the year and I am confident any change to masking policies in our schools/classrooms will cause more disruption and harm than good, and certainly increase the likelihood of more infections in the waning weeks of the year. I know teachers (and I truly believe a strong majority of parents) overwhelmingly support maintaining the mask mandate inside of our schools to close out the year. Altering it so close to the finish line would create any number of foreseeable problems (safety, staffing issues, parents pulling kids out of school causing class and schedule disruptions, etc.). There is a lot of passion and emotion on all sides of this debate, but it is undeniable that the safety protocols in our schools have been extremely successful when adhered to and kept all of us out of a lot more trouble had campus-spread become a true problem; which fortunately it never did. If a system in place has worked better than anyone might have expected, to me it makes sense not to roll the dice with a major change this late in the year.
All that being said, please continue to support mandatory masking inside of our schools/classrooms for the remaining 6 weeks of the school year. If I were on the dais, I would do what many of you did on Wednesday; be honest, respectful, and most of all, conscious of the safety impacts and the need to minimize disruption and harm on our campuses as we inch closer and closer to the last day of school.
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