Nampa School Board special meeting on mask policy ends abruptly amid public input

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Posted at 9:25 PM, May 12, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-13 18:26:27-04

NAMPA, Idaho — Nearly 25 minutes into a Nampa School Board of Trustees special meeting Wednesday night, a raucous response to a parent's suggestion prompted board members to end the meeting early.

Trustees were reviewing the district's current face mask policy with one parent recommending requiring face coverings for the rest of the school year. Most classes will wrap up their year before May 27.

Before the meeting ended, trustees were expecting to hear from community members and students about the mask policy.

“I think all of us understand the responses to COVID-19, including the requirement of masks we are considering tonight, has been the subject of strong disagreements in our community and across the country. Many have strong feelings about this board’s past decisions. Since our primary focus here is whether the mask requirement should be continued through the end of the school year, I encourage each of you to focus your comments constructively on that question,” said NSD Board Trustee and Chair member Mandy Simpson.

The meeting video can be viewed here.


Several other Treasure valley school districts also discussed their mask policies this week.

The Vallivue School District Board voted to make face coverings optional for the rest of the school year.

The West Ada Board of Trustees voted to continue requiring masks indoors but made them optional outside. Masks will still be required on school buses.

During Tuesday’s West Ada meeting, a group calling itself “Smile West Ada” testified in favor of lifting mask requirements and letting individuals decide.

“We do support masks. We do believe they are effective. We just don’t believe they are worth the trade-offs and the costs they represent to our children, and we as parents deserve a choice,” said David Bennetti, a parent of two West Ada students.

West Ada officials say the board also approved for masks to be optional during the summer months. The board will discuss their mask policy before the new school year resumes.