Union School Board Votes To Keep Mask Mandate In Place

Wednesday, December 1st 2021, 8:44 am

TULSA, Oklahoma -

Students at Union Public Schools will continue wearing masks on Wednesday morning.

The school board voted Tuesday night to keep its mask mandate in place for now.

Three board members voted to keep the mandate and two voted to suspend it.

The school board said, ultimately, it came down to student safety amid new waves of COVID-19 uncertainty.

Superintendent Dr. Kirt Hartzler brought the proposal before the school board to reassess the mask requirement after he says the district has seen a 72% drop in the number of positive cases.

Other board members say it is just not the right time and say they didn't want to make a change they say they might regret later.

Board members say they expect the number of positive cases to rise once students return to class after the holidays.

The district requires students, staff and visitors to wear masks while inside school buildings, with exemptions for medical, religious or personal reasons.

Right now, 6% of students have opted out of the requirement. That’s about 933 students out of the district’s more than 15,000.

The board will take another look at the mandate in January.