BOARDMAN — In a video quietly posted to YouTube Friday, Boardman Local Schools issued a mask mandate for the upcoming school year.
Masks will be required for students and staff, superintendent Tim Saxton explained.
"We cannot ignore the advice from the American Pediatric Association, the Ohio Department of Health, our three local Valley health departments and the Ohio Department of Education," said Saxton. "Our goal has always been to make sure students are learning in person five days a week."
The district did not issue a news release about the anticipated decision. Comments on the video by parents might provide insight as to why.
Richard Wyant said, "Teaching our kids to submit to totalitarian rule is inexcusable."
Despite that assertion, masking has been proven effective in reducing transmission of COVID-19 by blocking exhaled droplets. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends masking for all students, as vaccines are not yet approved for students under 12.
Saxton's message follows pleas from Gov. Mike DeWine for school officials to mandate masks in the midst of the delta variant's rapid spread throughout Ohio.
School starts for Boardman students on Aug. 30.