NACS delays public comment changes, mask mandate to executive session

Local News

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) — After delaying a vote to change the public participation portion at Northwest Allen County School Board meetings, the board voted once again to table the vote for an upcoming meeting.

Some of the debates include how long a person can speak, how long the public comment portion will last, and what topics they can speak about.

After a discussion with the board, the group delayed that topic for their executive session on Wednesday, Dec. 15.

The board also plans to discuss the district-wide mask mandate during the executive session.

Masks will become optional at 11:59 p.m. on Dec. 18. The board approved the change due to the decrease in COVID-19 cases and quarantines in the district. Monday night the board choose to wait until the executive session to discuss if a mask mandate needs to stay in place.

Currently, masks are required indoors during typical school hours or where a student is required to attend unless:

  • Six feet or more apart
  • Outside
  • High assertion activities
  • Eating or drinking
  • Choose to attend a non-sponsored school event outside of school hours and is open to the public

Changes to the policy could come then or the next school board meeting on January 10.

The school is currently facing a lawsuit over its mask mandate. Four parents filed the lawsuit on behalf of 12 minor children who attend the school district back in September. Court documents say that parents argue school and state officials should stop mask mandates because life has gone back to normal and state and school officials have violated Indiana law and “exceeded authority delegated by the legislature under the Emergency Management and Disaster Law.”

NACS school officials along with the governor, state, and local health commissioners are named on the lawsuit.

The school district has filed a response to the lawsuit and has asked a judge to dismiss it. A hearing on the dismissal is set for Dec. 22 in Allen County Superior Court.

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