Muncy School Board: Masks optional
MUNCY — With more than 140 attending either in person or online, the Muncy School Board voted 6 to 3 to allow parents to choose if their child needs to wear a mask while attending school in the district.
The action was in reaction to an order from the state Department of Health requiring students, staff and visitors to be masked in school buildings. Many districts have only allowed exemptions from the order when signed by a medical professional.
With the Muncy board’s vote, a parent of a child under 18 years of age could sign the exemption form, while a student over 18 could sign their own form.
Board members voting in favor of the motion were: Scott Johnson, David Edkin, Joseph Earnest, Steven Hill, Kim Walker and Corey Walko. Voting no were: Lisa Sleboda, Sarah Woodward and David Frederick.
Although there are questions about whether the district is in compliance with the health department order following the vote, Scott Johnson, board president stated, “We are in total compliance with the order.”
Johnson cited section three of the order which does not require any type of documentation to claim an exemption from masking. The section does list permitted exceptions to the covering requirement, such as if wearing a face covering would create an unsafe condition or exacerbate a medical condition or if working alone and isolated from interaction with other people. It does not, however, specify that a request for exemption must be signed by a medical professional.
“The order is clear, it does not require it,” Johnson said.
According to Dr. Craig Skaluba, superintendent, prior to Monday’s vote, about 19 percent of students in the high school and 14 percent in the elementary school had requested to be exempted from the masking order.
Skaluba stated that he and the solicitor did not recommend exemption by a parent’s signature.