Cedarburg parents push school mask requirement, board meets

It is a conversation that quieted over the summer but is now back and leaving parents divided again: Whether masks should be required in class.

The Cedarburg School Board met Wednesday night, Aug. 18, and while masking wasn't on the agenda, parents still showed up hoping to talk about it.

That group of parents told FOX6 News that they are still hoping the board will hear their concerns and consider adjustments, but there's not much time left. School starts Sept. 1.

"I think the takeaway here is that we are planning for a regular school year," Cedarburg School District Superintendent Todd Bugnacki said.

As summer winds down and students get ready to return to in-person learning, the Cedarburg School District outlined its COVID-19 safety plan.

"Physical distancing, we will continue to distance to the extent possible," said Bugnacki.

Cedarburg School District board meeting on Aug. 18, 2021.

Unlike last school year, masks will be optional for 2021-22 – raising concerns from a group of parents who recently formed their own COVID Mitigation Committee.

"They didn’t even survey the parents and ask, ‘What do you want to happen this year?’" said parent Suzy McManus. "We want them to ask us what we want."

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McManus and her husband, Matt, said they believe masks should be mandated, especially where children are too young to be eligible for the vaccine, like their daughter, Morgan.

"What’s going through our mind collectively is, ‘Is this a safe environment to put our kids into with the current plan the school board and the superintendent have put forth?’" said Matt McManus.

Cedarburg School District board meeting on Aug. 18, 2021.

During Wednesday's board meeting, the superintendent reviewed the plan but COVID-19 mitigation did not make the agenda. Public comment was restricted to agenda items only. Still, some attempted to bring it up.

"I would consider talking about the mask mandate," said one parent. "This seems like it helps protect you but not everyone here."

The meeting adjourned soon after the public comment portion, with the district's plan remaining in place.

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