Despite Mounting Protests, Schools Won’t Drop Mask Mandates-Here’s Why
Although the number of students who participated in various area mask mandate protests recently at Tri-City schools was not a majority, there is steadily growing opposition. We know for a fact that many students and even faculty agree with those protesters, but they did not participate. That is well within their rights.
SCHOOL BOARDS, OFFICIALS ARE BEING PRESSURED MORE AND MORE ON SUBJECT
the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction threatened that state-Federal funding would be pulled from the District if they did not comply.
We watched a video of a recent Richland School Board meeting where one of the board members got a bit "testy" with parents-students who spoke in opposition to the seemingly endless mask mandates. Not just parents, but now students are showing up at meetings, sending emails, and making calls against the mandate. More and more opposition is being seen on various social media groups.
The question many are asking is, why don't districts defy them? It's largely due to funding. It's not necessarily 'blackmail,' but a handful of districts that have defied in both WA and Oregon have been hit in the wallet.
**Last September, the Kittitas School District said it would not enforce the mandates, but as reported on by Ellensburg media, the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction threatened that state-Federal funding would be pulled from the District if they did not comply.
**Similarly, the Courier-Herald, a newspaper that serves Enumclaw, Black Diamond, and other small communities in King and Pierce County, reported December 2nd, 2021 that despite very stiff opposition from parents, the Enumclaw School District would continue to enforce the mask mandate or like Kittitas, they would lose funding as well.
ONE SMALL OREGON DISTRICT HAS ACTUALLY LOST FUNDING
January 25th of this year, KGW TV in Oregon reported the small school district of Alsea had its Federal funding pulled by the Oregon Department of Education after their superintendent said they would not enforce it in the terms demanded by the state.
His reasoning was that his District, which is southeast of Corvallis, is a rural area with only 150 students K-12 and their COVID-Delta-Omicron rates and threat were low. January 13th of this year, the School Board passed a resolution saying it would leave the mask enforcement up to parents, students, and staff members. 12 days later, ODE pulled their state (Federal) funding.
It's because of situations like this that most Districts will not play a game of 'chicken' with the state, and why we are not seeing defiance from Districts--even if they wanted to do so.