Parents speak up about mask requirement during Fergus Falls School Board meeting

Published: Oct. 11, 2021 at 10:59 PM CDT
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FERGUS FALLS, Minn. (Valley News Live) - Some parents of students in the Fergus Falls School district took a stand against a mask mandate, which is now in effect for students Pre-K through 6th grade.

Dozens of these parents marched through the city hoping to get their message across.

“We hope that the school board and the community see that as parents we will not remain silent on these matters that are important to us,” said Tim Molter, march organizer and pastor of a local church.

The action didn’t stop there as parents on both sides of the issue expressed their feelings on the mask mandate during Monday’s school board meeting.

“When do parents actually get to be heard. When do parents and taxpayers get to chose what is right for their family and their community,” said Laura Dewey, a parent against the mandate.

Jody Lien, who agrees with the board’s decision on the requirement said, “I am here in support of the district’s decision to use masking a too and as an added prevention strategy.”

More than 25 people stepped up to the podium hoping the district would hear their reasonings.

“I have four children in the district. I do not want them to go back to distance learning. I don’t want to teach distance learning,” said Ethan Johnson.

Some questioned why this age group, in particular, and Superintendent Jeff Drake stated it’s due to young children not yet having access to a vaccine.

One speaker suggested the district should consider other strategies to help with the decision-making.

Consider putting a task force together, people that represent both sides or a bipartisan committee of sorts,” said Joanna Tysdal.

While several opinions were expressed, the battle among parents and community members on different sides of this issue will continue as the mandate remains in effect.

The school board only listened to public input and did not make a decision on the matter.

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