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HINSDALE, Ill. — Hinsdale High School District 86 is now among the list of school districts across Illinois where masks are optional.

Friday’s special board meeting started off with several public comments followed by the board going into closed session for more than an hour.

Once the board returned, they voted unanimously in favor of switching from requiring masks to giving students and staff the option.

Over the past couple of weeks students in the district have protested in favor of making masks an option. However, last week the District 86 school board voted to keep the mask requirement in place. 

“I am so excited. I am so excited to be able to see my friends smiles in the hallway and be able to understand my teachers when they speak to me,” senior Sydney Pjesky said. “And I’m excited to have the choice of if I’m wearing a mask or not. And I support my peers who decide to wear one but I will not be wearing one any longer.”

A school board member WGN spoke with Friday said the vote supporting making masks optional was considered in light of several factors, including local health metrics and the appellate court’s ruling that struck down the governor’s school mask requirement.

In spite of Friday’s vote, the Hinsdale board still highly advises students and staff to take precautions against covid.

The new mask modifications for Hinsdale Central and South go into effect on Monday, February 21.