Norman Public School Board votes to make masks optional

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NORMAN, Okla. (KFOR) – The Norman Public School Board today voted 4-1 to make masks optional.

The decision will take effect at the end of the day Thursday, which is the last day of school. 

“I can assure we will remain vigilant in our response to COVID-19. We will continue to work with all of our partners in the community to monitor the trends,” Superintendent Dr. Nick Migliorino said.

The new policy starts with the high school graduation ceremonies.

Masks will be optional for students and staff during the summer and when classes resume in the fall.

Some voiced concern about the new policy.

“I’ve had several contacts with people who are not comfortable being around unmasked people. some of them are immuno-compromised, some of them did not get the vaccine, some of them have younger children,” school board member Linda Sexton said.

The board is asking people to respect others’ choices when it comes to masks.

“If families want to wear them they can, if they do not want to wear them, they don’t have to,” school board member Chad Vice said.

Some parents voiced concern. One mother says her child is immuno-compromised.

“I’m concerned the schools won’t be able to protect the kids that do want to continue masking,” parent MaryAnn Martin said.

She also doesn’t want to see any possible bullying because some kids are wearing masks and others aren’t.

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“My kids aren’t going to beat up someone who doesn’t want to wear a mask, I don’t want people to beat up my kid if they want to wear a mask,” Martin said.

Others say it should be up to each family to decide what’s best for their children.

“I think they should be optional. I just think, I would prefer my daughter to wear a mask since she hasn’t been vaccinated, but I think it should be up to the parents and their kids to make that decision,” parent Erin Newcomer said.

The school board also says they can revisit policy if the number of COVID-19 cases goes up again.

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