BESE Board Meets Today on Issue of Masks in Louisiana Schools
The Board of Elementary and Secondary Education will hold a meeting today. That meeting is scheduled to being at 0900 AM CDT. After that meeting, we should have better clarity on what the policy for Louisiana schools regarding the wearing of masks or face covering might be.
Notice I didn't say the issue would be resolved. We will simply have a better understanding of how the board, that we elected, feels about one of the hottest issues in the state right now.
Governor John Bel Edwards has already issued a statewide mask mandate. The Governor's office believes that this mandate applies to the state's school systems.
If we want our kids to stay safe and our schools to stay open the only way to do that when we have this much transmission of COVID in a community is with a mask mandate.
Those are the Governor's thoughts on students in grades K-12 wearing masks as reported by the Louisiana Radio Network. Governor Edwards cited precedents established over the last year and a half as his reasoning for suggesting that his mandate applies to our schools.
Here is a link to the BESE Board YouTube Channel. Today's meeting is supposed to be broadcast live online.
There are more than a few Louisiana residents who don't share a similar opinion as the Governor does. In fact, 63 members of the Louisiana House of Representatives, all members of the Republican Party, have sent a letter to the BESE board asking them to reject the Governor's mandate. They believe the decision to mask or not mask should be left in the hands of local school boards.
We should note that based on information published by LRN, according to Jeff Asher a data analyst from New Orleans, that kids aged 5 to 17 made up the largest number of new COVID cases of any age group reported by the state yesterday.
So, the quandary is real. What is the best way to keep schools open for in-person learning while keeping students and faculty safe? And who ultimately gets to decide "what's best" for our school-age kids?
As I said, we will know the BESE Board's feelings on the matter later today. I guess once we know what they are thinking then we will see which direction the discussion will go. Then it will be up to the parents to make the best decision they can make in regard to keeping their child healthy and safe and making sure they are continuing on their educational journey.
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