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Blaine County School Board ends meeting early over the public’s refusal to wear masks

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Posted at 4:54 PM, Aug 18, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-19 15:40:15-04

HAILEY, Idaho — School is back in session across the Gem State and debates over which COVID-19 protocols should be followed in the classroom are heating up.

In Blaine County, a school board meeting got out of hand Tuesday night over crowd members refusal to wear face masks. It led to the meeting being postponed before it ever really got started.

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Tuesday night's school board meeting ended with members of the public loudly stating, “You work for us” at the Blaine County board members as they walked out of the room. The meeting was set to discuss whether or not students in the Blaine County School District should be required to wear face masks during the school year.

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“I’m here to support the moms who are trying to allow their children to live together without masks,” said Meeting attendee Lita West.

According to a drafted plan, the school district was meant to consider requiring face coverings indoor for all staff and students when Blaine County is in the yellow, orange, or red category for community levels of COVID-19 transmission as defined by the CDC covid data tracker.

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“I’m in support of keeping our kids safe and if people have to be inconvenienced a little bit with a mask,” said meeting attendee David Stone. “I think it pretty selfish to say that their freedoms are more important than our child’s safety.”

Currently, Blaine County is in the orange category, and the school district does not accept public comments during their school board meetings. Instead, comments are done online and before the meeting began there were more than 100 submissions.

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“If you do not want to put on a mask, and you don’t put on a mask we are going to adjourn the meeting,” said School Board Chair Keith Roark.

Many members of the public refused to put on a face mask during the meeting, and the school board did what they said they would, the meeting was canceled, and the school board walked out.

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With no decisions made, the school board rescheduled a meeting for 5 p.m. Friday, and said they expect protests to continue.