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First week of mask mandate at Muscatine and Burlington schools

Published: Sep. 22, 2021 at 6:35 PM CDT
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QUAD CITIES (KWQC) - It’s the first week of the new mask mandate for pre-K through 12th graders at Burlington Community School District. Last Friday, the school board voted 4-2 to require masks for anyone inside school buildings.

“Outside the school building, you don’t need a mask. No masks during PE and no masks during sports. Other than that, if you are under a roof, the mask is on,” says Burlington Superintendent Patrick Coen.

Wednesday marks three days since the start of the requirement. Coen says so far the new rule has been successful, despite often polarizing opinions on masking.

“We have some parents who are upset about the mask mandate. They have expressed their feelings and their unhappiness,” Coen says.

In Muscatine, protestors gathered outside the school district administration building Wednesday morning. In a meeting last week, the Muscatine school board voted 6-1 to require masks for pre-K through 6th graders.

“My concern is if someone wants to wear a mask that’s fine, but just don’t make other people wear a mask, let it be a choice,” says protestor Tami Hulquist.

“I am not against wearing a mask or getting a vaccine but I feel like it is a choice and you do what is best for yourself and your family,” says protestor Jackie Means.

On Wednesday, Muscatine School District released a statement to TV6, which reads, “The majority of our students arrived at school today prepared for the day and with face-coverings. No students were turned away for not wearing a face-covering. The district will also continue to have face-coverings available in all PK-6 buildings for students that do not have their own. PK-6 families were contacted earlier this week and notified of options should they not want their students to wear a face-covering. We know that the best place for all students to learn is in person, in the classroom with their peers. Our board of education also made it clear that they will re-examine this mandate once vaccines are made available for PK-6 aged students. The district respects the opinions of those who gathered this morning at our administration building, and we thank them for conducting their protest peacefully.”

Muscatine Schools say so far four students have switched to virtual learning.

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