FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WOWO): In front of a contentious crowd, the Northwest Allen County School Board voted 3-2 to institute a mask mandate Monday night.
According to the Journal Gazette, board members voting in favor of the mandate were told they had “no soul,” and there was arguing between Board President Kent Somers and Board Vice President Liz Hathaway on the motion.
Woman says the members who voted for the mandate “don’t have a soul.” Here’s some more of her comments: pic.twitter.com/t9HD0fhzzK
— Ashley Sloboda_JG (@AshleySloboda) August 30, 2021
Hathaway, Kristi Schlatter, and Ron Felger voted in favor, while Somers and Steve Bartkus voted against it.
The move comes as the Delta variant of COVID-19 proves to be highly contagious in schools. Superintendent Chris Himsel – who had previously sent parents a letter encouraging them to get their kids to voluntarily wear a mask to school – told the board that 12% of the NACS student body is either quarantined or isolated due to cases. Many of those cases are among elementary students too young to be vaccinated.
In the first two weeks of the school year, NACS has reported 168 confirmed student cases of COVID-19, compared to 377 in all of the previous school year. The mandate begins Wednesday and runs until October 14th. Read the full resolution at the below link:
Fort Wayne Community Schools made masks mandatory for students, staff, and visitors at the beginning of the school year.
The topic of masks and other coronavirus restrictions in schools has led to contentious school board meetings across the nation, with the exchanges becoming so extreme it has led to some school board members considering resigning from their posts.