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UPDATE: Mask-wearing required to start Unit 5’s school year

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NORMAL (WEEK) - McLean County's largest school district will require students to wear masks to start the school year.

The Unit 5 School Board, meeting in special session Wednesday night, voted 6-1 to mandate students wear masks as McLean County is considered a "significant" transmission point for the coronavirus.

The only no vote came from new board member Jeremy DeHaai.

Superintendent Kristen Weikle said refusing to wear a mask will be considered insubordination, and any student refusing to wearing a mask could be suspended from school or banned from sporting events.

Unit 5 plans a "reevaluation day" on September 21, as school leaders plan to look at data and the latest guidance from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) before deciding whether to change the mask-wearing policy.

“That September 21st date is really going to give us the best opportunity to have a full boat of data that we can review, and certainly make sure that we are looking at school-to-school metrics and information so that we can make an effective change when it’s possible” said Board member Alan Kalitzky.

Several parents lobbied against the mask mandate, but Mollie Emery said this outcome was expected after the CDC released new guidance Tuesday.

“At the meeting last week, I felt heard. I felt like they were truly considering things, and I think they did, said Emery.

"I’m deflated, but I’m not surprised,” she added.

Harry Croton

Howard Packowitz

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