Blue Valley School Board votes to keep mask mandate

Blue Valley Schools
Posted at 6:45 PM, Apr 08, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-08 19:57:04-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Blue Valley School Board members took the recommendation of a hearing officer and voted Thursday night to keep the district's current mask mandate for students, faculty and staff working in school buildings in place.

Roger Warren, the hearing officer, made the recommendation Thursday evening after a hearing required under a new Kansas law that allows any parent to challenge a school district’s COVID-19 health policies.

The district’s original meeting had to be postponed when a man at the hearing refused to wear a mask.

Instead, Blue Valley conducted a virtual meeting Wednesday morning.

Warren told board members no compelling evidence was presented at the hearing to revoke the mask mandate.

He also said there was no compelling evidence to modify the mask mandate.

The Blue Valley School Board implemented the mask mandate as part of his Navigating Change policy on August 18, 2020.

Two board members said they didn't want to make changes that would jeopardize a healthy end to the school year.

At least one parent also has challenged the mask mandate for Olathe Public Schools, which is the largest school district in the Kansas City region.

Senate Bill 40, which took effect March 31 requires local school boards in the state to conduct a public hearing any time any parent, employee or student raises an issue about COVID-19 protocols.

The district must schedule a meeting within three days.

If the board declines to change its policy, the complaining party can sue the district to challenge the policy in court.

A judge will then decide if the policy is allowed to stand or if the district must change it.