Camdenton School District votes to require masks, reversing course on original decision

Published: Aug. 26, 2020 at 8:04 PM CDT
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CAMDENTON, Mo. (KY3) - On Wednesday, Camdenton R-3 Superintendent Tim Hadfield defended his district’s decision to not initially require masks.

”I think it was the right start,” Hadfield said.

But, at 7:00 a.m. on the second day of school, the district’s board voted to require masks to be worn.

”A change needed to be made,” Hadfield said.

That was good news for Melisa Ahrens, the parent of a freshman.

”If my daughter, who is 14, goes to school, and she is around someone who has COVID, she has a 90-year-old grandmother and an 89-year-old grandfather who she sees daily,” Ahrens said. “They both are compromised. She may not get sick, but it could kill them.”

Ahrens already experienced a death in the family from COVID-19, so to keep that from happening again, her daughter isn’t going to school in person this semester.

Mindi Sales, who has two daughters in the district, thinks the mask should be a choice.

”We, as parents, and discussions with our children, should decide what’s best for us,” Sales said.

Under Camdenton’s plan, students and teachers will need to wear masks any time they’re out of their seat and can’t be socially distant. That’s during times like walking through the halls to change class, going to lunch, or talking with another student or teacher in close proximity

”The students are not required to wear the mask all day long,” Hadfield said. “Once you get to class and get seated and have some social distance, you take the mask off.”

Even though she disagrees with the mandate, Sales said she’s more concerned about the way the board voted on it.

”It wasn’t on the agenda, it wasn’t discussed anywhere, except maybe with a few select people because the nurse was there,” Sales said. “So how did the nurse know to be there to have this conversation, but some of the board members didn’t know about this conversation?”

Hadfield said the “school reopening plan” was on the agenda, even though it didn’t explicitly say anything about masks.

The district is allowing parents and students to change their schooling option because of the mask decision until September 4.

”Parents do have an option,” Hadfield said. “They know what the expectations are, so they’re able to choose what they want for their student.”

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