Zionsville School Board votes to require masks for students 12 and under; ‘We make decisions based on what will keep students in school’

Education

ZIONSVILLE, Ind.– After the CDC changed their mask guidance Tuesday, recommending all vaccinated individuals once again mask up indoors, they also recommended students K-12 put their masks on too, regardless of vaccination history. 

Following this move, central Indiana schools have scrambled to make their own adjustments, some after the school year had already begun.

Zionsville School Board called an unexpected board meeting into session Wednesday evening to address their path moving forward where the board voted 3-2 to require students under the age of 12 to wear masks when school resumes in person Aug. 3. 

Tensions ran high as the school board listened to heated segments of public comment which lasted well over two hours. The vast majority of parents in attendance did not want their students to have to wear masks rather, they wanted the burden of choice to fall on parents, rather than educators.

“As parents, you know, we’re fighting for our kids. We’re really in charge of their education,” Tim Beyer, a concerned parent said. “Tonight, I’m just disappointed in the school board not standing up for our freedom of choice.”

Educators, like Zionsville School Board President Debbie Ungar, who voted in favor of enforcing a mask mandate for students 12 and under, said ultimately the decision is theirs alone. 

“As we all said, we make decisions based on what we think will keep students in school,” Ungar said. “We think that is the priority to keep them safe and healthy for the school year.”

There will be another board meeting held at the high school, six days after the start of school on Aug. 9. 

Mask guidance for students 12 and up has not changed. They will not be required – but are strongly recommended.

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