Saginaw Township Community Schools votes for mask mandate starting September 20

Saginaw Township Community Schools changes mask policy following growing call from concerned parents and health professionals
Published: Sep. 13, 2021 at 10:55 PM EDT
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SAGINAW TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WJRT) - (09/13/2021) - Another Mid-Michigan School District is voting to have a mask mandate.

Starting September 20, all students K-12, staff, and visitors in the Saginaw Township Community School District will mask up in all district buildings.

The move comes following a growing call from concerned parents and health professionals.

Laura Fiore is one of about a dozen parents who showed up for Saginaw Township’s Board of Education meeting on Monday night, relieved to hear the board is changing their masking policy from strongly recommending to requiring

“They’re making this decision based upon the medical experts, so it shouldn’t be a popularity contest. It should be one based on the educated expertise of our medical professionals in the public health department, and that’s exactly what this board did today, and I’m very proud of them,” Fiore said.

Originally, the board proposed a sooner date: Wednesday, September 15. Instead, following guidance from Superintendent, Bruce Martin, the board decided it wasn’t enough time to get families and teachers prepared.

The board passed the September 20th date with a 6 to 1 vote. During the discussion, one board member was hoping to wait two weeks before making a decision.

“Without hearing from both sides, without giving the opportunity for people to come in. I appreciate you guys are out here tonight. That’s awesome, and I thank you for that, and I hope you come back in two weeks. I would just like to be able to have more community input,” Jenean J. Coughlin said.

The others say the goal is to keep students in school instead of quarantining, and according to a letter from a group of Pediatricians and Specialists in the Saginaw Community, masks are the most simple and cost-effective way to keep in-person learning moving forward.

More importantly, Fiore says it will keep the community safe.

“I’m hoping that it’ll save lives. I’m hoping that it will protect our community, keep our hospitals from being overwhelmed,” Fiore said.

The mask requirement did include some exceptions like when students are eating or have a note from a doctor.

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