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Masks no longer required at Ray-Pec schools, parents and students divided on issue

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Posted at 9:03 PM, Sep 10, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-10 23:43:07-04

PECULIAR, Mo.  — Masks are no longer required for students and staff at the Raymore-Peculiar School District.

At Thursday night's meeting, the school board voted 4-1 to keep the mask mandate in place. However, due to newly-passed House Bill 271, it required a supermajority of votes to extend the mandate, meaning five board members had to vote in favor.

The school district also released numbers of how many people have contracted the virus through the first 14 days of classes. So far there have been 99 positive cases with students and staff, resulting in 169 quarantines, 27 of which are from school exposure.

"They don’t need a mask," said Phillip Morroto, who is against masks.

Although, district parents are divided on the issue.

"I try to do my best to keep the kids, you know, cleaned up and healthy, there’s not much more I can do," said Ray-Pec parent Arthur Hickey.

One student KSHB 41 News spoke with didn't want her face on camera but describes how unusual Friday felt.

"It was weird coming back today and seeing a bunch of people without masks and seeing some people like teachers double mask to make up for the kids that are like not masked," the student said.

One student said he wouldn't mind bringing back a mask mandate.

"In my opinion, I would rather have to require it just to be more safe," said 4th grader Isaiah Jones.

Jones' dad still makes his son wear a mask at school regardless of mandate status.

"Hey, you still have to wear a mask in school, unfortunately," Loren Jones said. "So if people make fun of you, so what. But I do think that we have to look out for the greater common good of everybody."

Jones believes masks should still be mandated with the majority of the school board voting that way.

"You have rules out there that don’t make sense, the majority feels like we should," Jones said. "Yet, we still feel like we have to have this majority, and so one person can swing an entire decision."

The next school board meeting is on Sept. 23.