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Durand School Board reverses mask rule, votes to follow mandate

The district was on probation facing consequences for defying the mandate.
Published: Aug. 23, 2021 at 5:12 PM CDT
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DURAND, Ill. (WIFR) - The Durand school board voted Sunday night to require masks during the 2021-2022 school year, shortly after it announced it would defy the statewide mandate. The board voted 5-2 in favor of of the masks.

“They made a tough, tough, but a good decision,” said Durand CUSD 322 Superintendent Kurt Alberstett. “It was not a decision that was made lightly.”

Alberstett said after a year of little to no extracurricular activities, he didn’t want to put the kids’ learning experience at risk again.

“Between losing possible funding, our students, our kids most importantly, losing activities whether it be in band, academic bowl, or sports,” said Alberstett.

Parents flooded the live stream of the meeting with comments both opposed and in favor of the decision.

“Wearing a mask all day is hard for kids. Especially for, my son, who has speech difficulties and is in speech,” said Natalie Guziano. Her son will be in third grade this year. She said he cried when he heard he would have to wear a mask in class all day.

“Right now, I just feel that with delta, and lambda variant coming out and other variants, we have got to step up our game and do everything we can right now to keep kids in school,” said Cheryl Sayers. She has three kids in the district and teaches in another school district.

Even though every parent may have a different idea of what is best for their child, one thing is certain in Durand. If the mandate is in place, the masks are on their face.

“After long, careful considerations, and deliberation our board made a prudent choice that’s in the best interest of our students,” said Alberstett.

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