PHM school district dropping mask mandate

NOW: PHM school district dropping mask mandate

ST. JOSEPH COUNTY, Ind. --- Penn Harris Madison Schools, one of the largest districts in the area is getting rid of its mask mandate as COVID-19 rates start to decline in St. Joseph County.

Some parent’s in Monday night’s meeting rejoiced after the PHM board of trustees voted unanimously in favor of the administration’s recommendation to drop the district-wide mask mandate put in place back on August 24th.

“It was an appetite on the board and the administration to reevaluate our masking policy in light of the precipitous decline in positive COVID cases,” said Christopher Riley, the President of PHM School Board of Trustees.

“I think it’s great me personally I don’t like masks and I don’t like my son to wear a mask obviously we follow the rules but I think it’s great,” added PHM parent Jeremy Horvath.

Making masks optional is something parents like Horvath and even some students have been pushing for since the school year began.

“I don’t why it’s taken this long I mean work in an RV factory and I'm around people every single day and we don’t wear a mask it’s really how you take your day by day,” said Horvath.

As the COVID-19 positivity rate continues to decline in the county some school board officials and parents told ABC57 they believe this will be the best option for students to learn.

“From the beginning of the pandemic it’s been a balancing act and now the weight of removing the masks is greater than keeping them on,” said Riley.

“I think it’s great that they are giving them that option like I said I prefer not to wear masks and for them not to either,” added Horvath.

ABC57 did reach out to and speak with parents still in favor of keeping the mask mandate in place, however they did not want to do an interview on camera.

Under the federal order masks are still required on all school buses and will now just be optional inside of school buildings starting Thursday, February 17.

Officials said the policy will be reevaluated if need be. But students or staffers who test positive for COVID or come into close contact with someone who does and are not fully vaccinated will need to still quarantine.

For more guidance click here.

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