Blue Valley postpones meeting over mask mandate

Face Mask
Posted at 11:18 AM, Apr 06, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-06 18:35:02-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A meeting scheduled Tuesday to hear the complaint of a Blue Valley School District parent over the district’s mask policy was postponed after a participant refused to wear a mask at the meeting.

According to a 41 Action News crew covering the hearing, a man in attendance at he meeting refused to wear a mask, violating a district policy that requires masks to be worn inside the administrative building.

The hearing officer told everyone to clear the room and only masked people would be let back in. The man sat in the empty room while everyone was in the hallway, refusing to move. Eventually, he left and the hearing officer decided to postpone the hearing.

It wasn't clear if the man was a parent of a student in the district.

It also wasn't clear why he was allowed in the building without a mask on but a school district spokesperson said the staff checking people in at the door reminded everyone of the mask requirement.

A woman requested a hearing with the board challenging the mask mandate but she never got to speak due to the disruption.

"I think it's just sad that one individual was able to determine the result of not having the meeting because he refused to wear a mask," parent Julie Spiegel said.

Last week, the district received notification that a parent was challenging the district’s mask mandate. It was one of several school districts in Johnson County facing challenges over their mask mandate following legislation passed in Topeka allowing parents to file complaints.

That legislation requires districts to schedule a hearing to review the complaint. The board of education hired a hearing officer to conduct the hearing and then present the findings to the full board within 7 days.

The CEO of the Kansas Policy Institute was at the hearing and said what happened was "not right."

"People should be allowed to exercise their due process rights under the law without intimidation and that has not taken place here," Dave Trabert said.

The district rescheduled the meeting that will now take place virtually for Wednesday, April 7 at 7:30 a.m. The district sent a Zoom link to parents in an afternoon email.

The district also said the Board of Education will make their decision at a virtual board meeting on April 8 at 5:30 p.m. A link to that meeting was included in the district's email.

The Olathe Public Schools District reviewed a similar complaint it received during a hearing Tuesday afternoon.

This is a developing story and may be updated.