Elmbrook School District mask debate

It's an issue that's being debated in just about every Wisconsin school district, sometimes more passionately than others. It's the question of how students can safely learn in person and for how long they need to wear masks to do so.  

That was the dilemma before the Elmbrook School District board Tuesday night, May 11.

The meeting itself got off to a rocky start when some board members raised concerns that community members in attendance were not practicing social distancing or wearing masks. After a few minutes of back and forth with the audience, the board decided to carry on.  

During the public comment portion of the meeting, all of the people who spoke about the district's current mask requirement said they feel masks should be optional.  

"The WHO and the CDC said that children have very low transmission rates on the COVID-19 to other people," said one commenter.

"These requirements are absurd and unacceptable," said one 5th grade student. "The county of Waukesha has no mask mandate."

Outside, a few high school students shared their opinions, indicating they feel the opposite.  

"I think it's important to keep masks continuing into summer school until people can become fully vaccinated," said Samantha Reiser, Brookfield East junior.

FREE DOWNLOAD: Get breaking news alerts in the FOX6 News app for iOS or Android

"I definitely don't feel comfortable going to school with people who aren't actively wearing masks," said another student.

The school board briefly touched on the matter during the superintendent's COVID-19 update. He said the district should soon receive guidance for summer school from the Waukesha County Public Health Division. The board anticipates relaxing mask requirements, but nothing has been decided yet. 

The next Elmbrook Schools board meeting is set for Tuesday, June 8 at 6 p.m.