HINSDALE, Ill. — Widespread confusion in school districts across the state continues after a judge downstate ruled against the mask mandate.
Two school districts cover Hinsdale – and the two districts took two different approaches.
Elementary and middle schools switched to remote learning over concern the mask confusion would create disruptions in the classroom. But Hinsdale Central and South high schools were open, requiring students to wear masks. When some students didn’t comply, administrators moved them to a separate part of the building.
“It’s terrible,” parent Chris Clawson said. “It’s terrible.”
Pictures surfaced of Hinsdale Central High School students isolated in the building’s auditorium for not wearing a mask Monday.
“Some either took the choice to get sent to the deans and others took the choice to go to class and put them on,” high school student Grant Davis told WGN News.
A letter from the school district sent to parents Sunday night read, in part, “Based on the district’s local authority under state law, District 86 would continue to require students and staff to wear masks while at work and school.”
“That’s a problem because we have a temporary restraining order that’s saying you don’t have to wear a mask,” Clemons said.
In response, District 86 says that 5% of Central students who refused to mask were asked to either comply with the district’s mitigation strategies and return to class, remain in the auditorium while working online, or be excused from school.
High school student Jeffrey Preusser said he was “told repeatedly by teachers, illegally, that it was wrong to not wear a mask.”
“I felt it was right to walk out and join my peers and support the protest,” Preusser added.
District 181 represents elementary and middle schools in Hinsdale and Clarendon Hills. While both schools were remote Monday in response to the mask ruling, it didn’t stop parents from protesting outside of district headquarters, demanding families have the right to choose to mask or not.
Among the group were Andrew and Samantha Goss, District 181 parents who disagreed with the school’s decision.
“We made a decision that we did not sign them up for school [Monday] just so we could support our kids and the kids around us,” Goss said.
“They’re in second grade. They’ve never experienced a day of normalcy in their school,” parent Samantha Goss said.
District 181 will hold a virtual emergency board meeting Monday at 6 pm.