NAPERVILLE, Ill. — The debate over mask policies is causing disruptions for school districts all across the suburbs and parents as well as students have organized protests.
Some Neuqua Valley students plan to stage what they call a peaceful walk-in at 7:15 a.m. Friday. They say they are not happy with the school district’s decision to keep the mask mandate in place despite a downstate judge’s ruling.
Monday’s board meeting of the Indian Prairie School District 204 started, but the board never proceeded with its agenda because some people in attendance refused to wear a mask. The board met the next evening over Zoom.
A county judge issued a temporary restraining order against Gov. JB Pritzker’s mask mandate for schools and the Illinois attorney general is appealing that ruling.
Since then, there have been many protests demanding school districts make wearing masks optional. Most of those protests have been led by parents in suburban district, some by kids.
In a letter to parents from the district, the superintendent said the district is reexamining all mitigation strategies. It is looking at Covid metrics, best nation rates and he says all decisions will be made in consultation with DuPage County and state public health officials.
What Neuqua Valley students plan to do Friday is fairly similar to what some Naperville Central High School students did earlier this week — they staged a mask-less walk-in and some of the students were denied entry into their classrooms.
Students and parents gathered in front of Stevenson High School in Lincolnshire Friday morning to protest against the mask mandate. According to a letter from the superintendent, the group included approximately 40 parents and 50 students.
“Unfortunately, we then began receiving multiple reports from students who were afraid and felt unsafe. Some students were verbally assaulted by parent and student protesters while entering and exiting the building during a morning passing period. Additionally, we witnessed parents and students banging on windows by the Point entrance,” the letter stated.