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Ottawa Hills schools adopts mask mandate

Published: Sep. 2, 2021 at 6:08 PM EDT
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OTTAWA HILLS, Ohio (WTVG) - The Ottawa Hills school board has voted 5-0 to adopt a universal mask mandate for students in the district. The district is the last in the county to adopt a mandate.

The board voted on the measure during a meeting Thursday night which was also attended by several parents.

“We want our kids in school, we want them learning in school. We don’t want to have to go to remote learning. So if we have to wear mask. If we have to take more precautions, that’s what we need to do,” says Adam Fineske, the superintendent.

Some parents were vocal about disagreeing with the boards decision.

“I don’t care if the vaccinated people want to wear a mask, but I need to do what’s best for my kid and unmasking my kid is the best option,” says Jamie Fontana, an Ottawa Hills parent.

Other parents agreed with the boards move.

“If you don’t mask kids, especially here at the elementary school where kids aren’t vaccinated. You don’t know what is going to happen... We don’t know the consequences of infection, disease, hospitalization or death,” says Jason Huntley.

“There is an obvious solution, mask everyone... it is not that challenging,” says Rupali Chandar.

Another point of contention raised at the meeting, was how some parents say unvaccinated students are treated at school.

“They have been pulled out of the classroom by the teacher and if they are vaccinated they are allowed to go into the class room. If they are not vaccinated they are to go to the back of the classroom and put on a mask,” says Eva Marie Kupeck.

“I feel like I speak for a lot of other unvaccinated parents. Is that that segregation is going to cause long term and irreparable harm to our children,” says Daniel McCullough.

Superintendent Fineske says that that is not happening, but he did say that teachers were enforcing the rules that were put in place.

The mask mandate will be enforced at Ottawa Hills schools starting Tuesday, September 7th.

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