In response to Gov. Greg Abbott’s lifting of the mask mandate, the Princeton Independent School District board examined the issue of updating its COVID-19 safety protocols during the regular school board meeting Monday, March 22 and decided to discontinue previous guidelines.
In the public comments portion of the meeting, several citizens took the opportunity to voice their concerns regarding the issue of masks and social distancing. With each citizen given five minutes to air their grievances, a majority of the nine speakers voiced their displeasure with the current protocol, citing health concerns and a desire for freedom of choice. Later in the regular meeting, each school board member expressed concerns on how the safety protocols need to be executed, citing health issues as well as the results of a survey presented to Princeton ISD faculty and parents, who expressed several doubts.
When it came to vote on these protocols, the school board voted to remove the mask mandate and social distance practices, effective April 12, by a 4-3 decision. Those who voted for the provision included vice president Bob Lovelady, secretary Chad Jones, trustee Joe Gilliam and trustee Cyndi Darland. The April 12 effective date was an amendment added to the provision by Gilliam, intended to give citizens an opportunity to receive the vaccine. More information on how this decision will affect current school policies will be discussed in the next few weeks.
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By Jackson King • [email protected]