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Parents split on Papillion La Vista Community Schools mask requirement

Posted at 10:19 PM, Sep 27, 2021

PAPILLION, Neb. (KMTV) — The Papillion La Vista Community Schools saw a staggering number of COVID-19 cases in its first three weeks of the school year.

One hundred and five cases were reported in the district on August 27, and three days later, the district decided they could no longer offer an education without requiring a mask.

Now just a month with that requirement on September 27, cases have dropped to just 18 active cases across the entire district according to the district's online tracker.

“Our positive cases are trending down so we’re very pleased to see that," said assistant superintendent Dr. Kattie Settles.

She said the district should stay on the same path it's currently on to keep children in school.

Some parents, like Sarah Lara-Toney, say these decisions the board and district are making have allowed their kids to stay in school.

“I don’t know how often you guys hear thank you for the measures that you have enacted, but seeing these reports and seeing the numbers go down, I know my husband and I are deeply appreciative," Lara-Toney said.

Others say these decisions are the very reason their child is not in school. Regina Foutch says the experience of wearing a mask was very upsetting for her daughter last year.

“I decided to home school my child because masks are traumatizing to her," Foutch said. "Even if she doesn’t have to wear a mask - the people around her - she believes that the air is harmful.”

Others like Brittant Hotlmeyer go as far as to question the board’s integrity in these decisions.

“I’m just wondering what the end game is to all of this," Hotlmeyer said. "And how much your paychecks have gone up.”

One board members replied it's not a paid position.

The board and district say they'll continue working with the local health department to monitor cases in the district and in the county, but for the time being the mask requirement is staying put.

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