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Opponents of mandate requiring masks in schools rally in Jersey Shore

Rain-filled skies on Wednesday evening did not stop nearly 30 raincoat- and umbrella-clad parents and concerned citizens from gathering at the Jersey Shore Area School District Services Center parking lot to express their concerns related to the state mandate requiring schoolchildren to mask up in classrooms.

A sign-up table located under one of the two tents in the parking lot was available for community members to sign a petition to unmask the schoolchildren in the district. Emotions were high as the group discussed their feelings on the current situation regarding masks in schools.

Of main importance was an upcoming school board meeting 7 p.m. Monday in which the board is set to discuss the topic of masks in schools.

The meeting of community members was prompted by an announcement last week by Dr. Brian Ulmer, the superintendent of the Jersey Shore Area School District, in which Ulmer said that the district would comply with the recent order made by Gov. Tom Wolf that all schools in Pennsylvania must require students to wear masks on school premises.

The order went into effect Sept. 7 and has been a topic of great controversy throughout Pennsylvania, with several lawsuits filed already in an attempt to overturn the order.

In an open letter posted on the Jersey Shore Area School District website, Ulmer announced the masking order and stated that the order is set to remain in effect but will be evaluated on Oct. 1.

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