School board member calls out to governor on Facebook
FARMINGTON – Farmington Central School Board CUSD # 265 has spent many hours developing a back-to-school plan, so it’s understandable that some people are upset by Gov. JB Pritzker’s executive order, Superintendent Zach Chatterton said.
“It’s just disheartening to have this local authority handed over to us in July and then put so much effort into crafting and approving a plan, only to inevitably have an executive order to replace it,” Chatterton said.
Newly elected school board member Dustin Blunier posted his discontent on Facebook, calling on community members to contact their elected officials over the decree issued by Pritzker on Wednesday afternoon making the wearing of masks mandatory in schools. Farmington was one of a number of local school districts planning to make masks optional as positivity rates remained low in the community.
Context:Governor Pritzker imposes a mask mandate on students; vaccines for some officials
Before:Check your school’s COVID-19 mask policy for the upcoming school year
Blunier’s Facebook post targeted Pritzker, the Illinois Department of Public Health, and local health departments:
“You can say it’s just a mask and we did it last year. However, today I saw a governor reneging on his commitment to all of Illinois. He needlessly undermined them. schools as they actively developed and adopted plans tailored to the safety and education needs of each school district. We should no longer trust them, the IDPH or local health departments to develop policies and protocols that change not on science, but on political whims and the needs of the few. ”
Efforts to reach Blunier on Thursday by phone, email and Facebook for comment were unsuccessful.
Chatterton said his email inbox was full Thursday morning with notes from parents commenting on the reversal, with most of them deeply disappointed. Parents and school board members were mostly in favor of making masks optional, Chatterton said. The school board meeting last month where the plan was approved was very well attended, and six or seven people formally addressed the board about it.
“I don’t remember a person who spoke to the board who was pro-masking,” he said.
Here’s what you need to know:Mask mandate for Illinois schools for 2021
A decree being what it is, Chatterton and his team went into masquerade Thursday morning for the first time this year. Although school doesn’t start until the end of next week, the building was bustling with activity.
“We have music camps going on, the gatekeepers are here, the teachers are in the room getting things ready – it’s like last year, everyone has their mask on,” Chatterton said.
But unlike last year, everyone will be in school, and concerns about how to conduct distance learning are no longer in the foreground. Chatterton hopes the disappointment over the executive order doesn’t cast a shadow over the excitement of starting the school year in a relatively normal fashion.
“I understand it’s a hot topic right now, but I want to get back to the other excitement with the school year starting, things like hoping the guards can do all the cleaning and the floors are waxed.” and that the children of the group do not run. through the freshly waxed floors, all these fun problems that we have, ”he said.
Leslie Renken can be reached at (309) 370-5087 or [email protected] Follow her on Facebook.com/leslie.renken.