Tuesday, September 26, 2023

Argyle ISD Board makes masks optional during outdoor activities

Argyle High School students celebrate at Texas Motor Speedway. (Photo by Alex Daggett)

A week after listening to parents petition to end the mask mandate in the classroom, the Argyle ISD Board of Trustees voted Monday night to loosen the masking rules at graduation and other outdoor activities for students and spectators for the rest of the school year.

The previous week, some parents said their kids got headaches from wearing masks, while others cited mental health and breathing difficulties caused by wearing masks, especially during P.E. Others questioned the dangers of COVID-19 and the efficacy of mask-wearing. They asked the board to eliminate masking requirements, since Gov. Greg Abbott ended the statewide mask mandate earlier this month.

At Monday’s meeting, after a handful of parents spoke about masks — some for, most against — AISD Superintendent Dr. Telena Wright said that all district employees can get vaccinated Thursday at a clinic administered by the Flower Mound Fire Department, and additional members are being added to the district’s health advisory committee.

While the board appears committed to keeping the mask requirement for students, teachers and staff in schools through the rest of the school year, board members voted unanimously Monday to make masks optional for students participating in outdoor recess and P.E., for participants and spectators at the Argyle High School graduation ceremony later this spring at Eagle Stadium, and for spectators at all UIL outdoor activities.

“What we’re looking for is a common-sense point that we can shift our policy, and that decision point is tied to vaccines,” said Board Member Dr. John Bitter. “As people have had the opportunity to get vaccinated, it makes clear sense to change policy. I think that’s what this district is doing, and I’m in full support of it.”

Mark Smith
Mark Smith
Mark Smith is the Digital Editor of The Cross Timbers Gazette.

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