KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Masks are now required in De Soto’s Unified School District 232, as the Board of Education voted, 4-3, Monday night to adjust its COVID-19 mitigation protocols.
The mandate, which only applies indoors, includes students in pre-kindergarten through 12th grade. Teachers and staff will be required to wear masks when in close contact with students.
Twenty-four people spoke during the public hearing session of the meeting. The room was split between those who wanted a mask mandate and those who wanted it as a choice for parents.
The board was set to reconsider its previous protocols – including the latest guidance on masking on mass transit – that initially were approved on July 12.
At that time, in addition to optional masking, hand hygiene and health screenings were encouraged but not required.
Monday’s discussion centered around the Johnson County Department of Health and Environment’s recommendation that people who aren’t fully vaccinated wear masks, along with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and American Academy of Pediatrics guidance that encourages students to wear masks in the classroom.
The Board of Education met at 6 p.m. at the USD 232 Administrative Offices, 35200 West 91st Street in De Soto. Attendees who are not vaccinated against COVID-19 were asked to wear a mask.