Mount Pleasant parents move to recall school board members after mask mandate vote

Three school board members in Mount Pleasant could face a recall election after voting to require masks for some students this school year.
Published: Aug. 9, 2021 at 3:57 PM EDT
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MOUNT PLEASANT, Mich. (WJRT) - Three school board members in Mount Pleasant could face a recall election after voting to require masks for some students this school year.

Mount Pleasant Public Schools voted to require masks for students up to the age of 12 back in July. This decision was met with support and backlash.

After the vote was made, recall language was filed in Isabella County against three school board members that voted in favor of the mask requirement. That includes board members Courtney Stegman, Wiline Pangle, and school board president Amy Bond.

“People don’t agree with it and this is our move,” said Bree Moeggenberg, a supporter of the recall.

Moeggenberg has been a critic of the mask policy since it was voted on last month. She spoke to ABC12 in July and said that she does not support the mask requirement because she would rather see the option for parents to choose if their child wears a mask.

“Mount Pleasant really stands alone on this and they’ve made the decision to put the masks on the kids despite what everybody else is doing and despite what parents think is best for their children,” Moeggenberg said.

Last month, the school board was presented the results of a community survey. That survey had more than 1,600 responses and it showed that 68% of the respondents did not want a mask mandate for any students.

Citing safety concerns for those students that are not yet eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine, the school board ultimately voted in favor of requiring masks for students under the age of 12.

This is in line with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The CDC recommends universal mask wearing for all students and teachers regardless of vaccination status.

The Isabella County Election Commission met last week to review the recall language and it is now moving forward.

ABC12 did reach out to the three board members facing a possible recall and only heard back from Pangle. She released this statement:

“I respect the decision of the commission petition to move the petition forward. I stand by my position on masking children that do not have yet access to the vaccine, following guidance by the CDC, the AAP, and our local health department.”

The board members listed in the recall language have 10 days to appeal the recall before signatures can be collected. The recall effort will need more than 3,000 signatures in order for a recall election to happen.

State data shows that Isabella County is reporting the lowest vaccination rate in Mid-Michigan at just 45.96%.

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