PUEBLO, Colo. — Pueblo’s District 70’s Board of Education held a meeting Tuesday night to discuss several issues – among them, whether their students would be required to wear masks to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in schools.
Most parents spoke out against a mask mandate, many citing concerns from their experiences last year.
“If we really are here for our kids, then we need to start off this year on a good foot,” said John Christianson, a D70 parent. “There’s rumors within District 70 of the district losing six to seven principals. There’s 30 or so positions open for teachers. If last year’s standard operating procedures alone is what resulted in losing all these good faculty, then some things need to be addressed. And that’s my concern. Nobody likes to wear a mask.”
Another parent who described herself as a clinical psychologist listed other concerns.
“I worry for their mental health, I worry about what’s already happened and what can still happen. And I’m just here to say I support all of our parents who just want the best for their kids,” said Alison Nizami. “I’m hoping we can avoid masks. I know that people feel strongly about that. If you want to send your child to school in a mask I have no problem with that. But please let us as parents make those decisions as much as possible.”
On Wednesday, citing strong vaccination rates among its staff and in the community, the board decided that face coverings will be “strongly encouraged,” but not required in schools.
In keeping with federal law, however, masks are required on buses.