Monday night’s Indian Prairie School District 204 Board of Education meeting was highly attended and rather contentious. The meeting, which saw a turnout of more than 140 people, was called into recess twice and eventually ended in an early adjournment after failed attempts by the board to get those in attendance to wear masks.
Informal Comment Session
Though most board members exited the room during those breaks, two remained: Justin Karubas and Mark Rising. They sat and listened to students, parents and other community members who shared their thoughts in unofficial public comment sessions.
“Last time I checked 134 districts have made mask optional in the state of Illinois,” said Colin Singer, an eighth grader at Gregory Middle School. “For some reason, you continue to mandate them and now we’re talking about punishing us for not wearing them. The fact that the CDC says that surgical masks are barely effective should be enough to convince you”.
Push For Masks Optional
Most speakers petitioned against the continuance of the mask mandate. A Sangamon County judge placed a temporary restraining order on that mandate last Friday. But District 204 said due to the uncertainty of that legal action which is being appealed, that they would keep their current COVID-19 mitigations in place.
Some of those in attendance spoke up for individuals still wanting to mask up at school.
“What if my grandparents get it? I’ve had a grandparent pass away already due to this whole mess. I didn’t bring it back, otherwise that guilt would be on my hands, and I don’t know what I would do with that. If I was the one to bring it home, and because of my own foolishness my grandparents get COVID and pass away,” said one Neuqua Valley junior.
When the Board of Education failed a third time to get the audience to wear face coverings, they voted for early adjournment. But Karubus and Rising stayed after the conclusion of the official meeting to continue listening.
The district is holding a virtual meeting Tuesday night, February 8 to address the items on their agenda that they weren’t able to get to the previous night.
Naperville News 17’s Ryan Sartori reports.
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