BDUSD To Require Masks For Students, Staff At Start Of School Year

(Beaver Dam) Masks will be required for Beaver Dam School District students and staff when the school year starts next month. The school board voted Monday night six-to-three in favor of face coverings. The decision comes as COVID cases increase throughout the area. According to the CDC, Dodge County has a high level of community transmission.

Board Member Marge Jorgensen, who voted for the masks, said their use promotes health equity. She said masks protects others by limiting your individual exposure to others around you. Jorgensen added that optional masking can create an atmosphere for mask bullying.

Board Member Tony Klatt said the reason he is voting for the masks is to keep kids safe. He said that he would not be able to sleep at night if he voted for optional masking and a kid dies.

Before the vote to require masks, a plan would have given Superintendent Mark DiStefano the flexibility to mandate masks at any time deemed appropriate. Board Member Joanne Tyjeski said her main reason against requiring face coverings was she did not want to take that authority away from DiStefano. She said the board needs to give DiStefano the ability to remove a mask mandate at any time.

The district does have the right at any point to amend the requirement based on local transmission levels.