Mask Mandate at RayPec


Stephanie Aguilar

The controversial topic of whether masks should be mandated during this school year was discussed recently at the school board meeting. Multiple people in the community shared their thoughts on the matter in hopes to persuade the board members in their favor.

David Kelly, the father of three children in the school district, feels that his and his children’s personal freedoms are being violated by the mask mandate.

“I’m extremely frustrated and concerned with the future we are creating for our kids and even for ourselves. We are creating a future where fear is our ruling factor, not logic. Where medical freedom is being trampled on,” said Kelly.

Audra Belle, an active community member, believes that every child’s situation is different and the mask decisions should be accustomed to that.

“I strongly believe that what’s right is for our district to allow parents along with each child’s individual doctor to determine what’s best or medically necessary for each individual unique child. That would mean removing universal masking mandates,” said Belle.

Aurora Lautzenhiser, a student in the school district, doesn’t want to lose any valuable time for her school work and extracurriculars. She continues to practice CDC guidelines to protect herself and others.

“I still wear my mask to care for my family and peers’ families. Yes, while children can fight much easier, they can still spread it to those immune-compromised ,” said Lautzenhiser.

Lautzenhiser expresses her disappointment with the community and their willingness to compromise for everyone’s benefit.

“ I feel the overreaction to wearing masks is heartbreaking and what I noticed is the extreme lack of being willing to make sacrifices. We’re still in a pandemic. If you want a school year, you need to make some type of sacrifice in these trying times,” said Lautzenhiser.

Cass County health official, Mr. Whirling , gives some clarification on what the positive cases actually test for and how they use the results in accordance with quarantining guidelines.

“We’re talking about a positive PCR test that is actually looking for part of the virus, so they are accurate. It’s not an antibody test, it’s not an antigen test, it is an actual PCR test,” said Whirling.

After hearing from multiple sources on information about personal beliefs about whether the mask mandate should remain, one of the board members, Aaron Hallett announces the final result.

“Because it is a 4 to 1 margin tonight, the motion fails. Which in turn means there is no longer a mask mandate,” said Hallett.

The school year continues with half of the students wearing their masks and the other half not. Whether or not the mandate will change is something that will be determined in the future when there is more information. The school hopes to stay safe and be able to provide the school district’s students with the best option for their education.