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Westside Board of Education officially updates mask mandate policy at meeting

Board policy had to reflect the new change
Posted at 10:25 PM, Aug 30, 2021

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — At Monday night's Board of Education meeting, district administration discussed the budget for the 2021-2022 school year. The budgeted expenditures total over $109 million, but the expected expenditures is just under $103 million.

District representatives said the budget is so high because of esser funds.

The board and Superintendent Dr. Mike Lucas was also given the authority to adjust board policy in one meeting instead of the usual two. District representatives say circumstances allowed this authority.

"I’m here to recommend that those circumstances do exist due to the ongoing and ever-changing COVID pandemic," said Nick Lesiak, the district's in-house legal counsel.

The board updated the policy to reflect the mandate that now requires middle and high school students to also wear masks, instead of only elementary school students as the policy previously stated.

Parents expressed their frustration with the mask mandate. Many asked what the board's endgame is.

"The choices, we either stop mask mandates completely or we do them forever. That's really it. Westside leadership, it’s very simple unmask our children," one parent said.

Parents also asked the board who they let decide their COVID policies.

Superintendent Lucas told 3 News Now the district consults Nebraska Medical Center, Children's Hosptial and the Douglas County Health Department for their COVID protocols.