Masks are not the answer; they are one of the recommended mitigation strategies that help combat the spread of the coronavirus. The Platte-Geddes School District has mandated masks for students, staff, and all patrons attending school functions. The logic behind the mask mandate, along with sneeze guards, social distancing, and healthy hygiene habits is to keep the school doors open for face-to-face instruction.
The district’s close contact investigations and decisions are based on universal masking. The Platte-Geddes School Board adopted procedures and protocols that allow “presumptive” close contacts to remain in school while continuing to monitor for symptoms. The district was aware that many of the students that were required to serve a 14-day quarantine due to being identified as a close contact sat at home healthy and unaffected. The district is aware that remote learning is taxing on students, parents, and teachers. Adopting the “presumptive” close contact procedures, based on universal masking, has kept our students in school, parents in the workforce and has eased the burden for teachers to have to teach both in-person and remotely.
Never has the district wanted to infringe on personal freedoms. The district does have the responsibility of keeping all students and staff safe during the school day. The district has to rely on recommendations from the Department of Health and Center for Disease Control when making these decisions. We are not allowed to base decisions on personal or political beliefs. We strive to make decisions based on the well-being of every student and staff member in the district.
A school setting is a place for learning. Athletic events, concerts, and school plays are opportunities for our students to display their talents outside of the classroom. These events should not be a platform for adults to show opposition to the district-wide mask mandate. These events should be about the children and a time to recognize the commitment they have made to athletics and extra-curricular activities.
The district is respectfully asking those of you that will not comply with the district-wide mask mandate to simply stay home and watch the event on Black Panthers Live. Mask enforcement is far beyond the “duties as assigned” that you will find in any administrator’s contract. If you choose to attend a school function and refuse to wear a mask, you will be asked to leave. If you refuse to leave, the administration will contact the Platte Police Department and they will escort you from the event. It is a scene that can easily be avoided and one that takes away from our students showcasing their hard work and talents. It is, and always will be about the 504 students in the Platte-Geddes School District.