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Tanque Verde School Board votes down mask mandate

Tanque Verde Elementary School
Posted at 6:59 PM, Aug 19, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-19 21:59:16-04

TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — The Tanque Verde Unified School District will continue to make masks optional for students and staff, for now.

The TVUSD School Board voted down a mask mandate at their meeting Thursday evening after a 4-1 vote. In the Tucson area, most of the public school districts have chosen to enact mask requirement policies so far this year.

LIST: Mask mandates at southern Arizona schools

Before voting, school board members read aloud comments from the public submitted to the board via email for more than 90 minutes. Most expressed strong opinions about the measure, both in favor and against.

In a presentation during the meeting, the school superintendent presented information about the legality of such a measure and current mask compliance at schools. In the district's survey, fewer than 25% of students at some schools were regularly wearing masks.

(credit: Tanque Verde Unified School District)

In the final vote, board members wondered whether a mandate would increase mask compliance at schools. They also considered the strain on school administrators and teachers in enforcing the policy. All members urged parents to send their kids to school wearing masks, hoping to avoid further outbreaks and quarantines.

Board members did leave open the possibility to reconsider a mask mandate at a future meeting.

The Marana School Board is considering a similar measure at their meeting Friday.

Click here to watch the full TVUSD Board Meeting