TIPPECANOE COUNTY, Ind. (WLFI) — School board members Wednesday night voted against a mask requirement for students and staff inside schools in the Tippecanoe School Corp.
It was standing room only during a special meeting of the board as parents on either side of the mask debate filled the board room. But the vast majority appeared to be against a mask requirement.
They came holding signs with messages like "My Child My Choice" and "Smiles Not Masks."
Board member Linda Day proposed via Zoom to add a mask requirement in schools. That motion was voted down 4-3. Board members, though, left the door open to add further restrictions in the future.
"It's a huge win for the children to at least start out, especially for the ones that were extremely excited to go back to school with no masks," says TSC parent Jenn Sanders.
"The ability for us to have a choice is really important, especially now after months and months and months, over a year, almost two years of lockdowns and mandates," says TSC parent Brian Snyder.
Others in the crowd sent subtle messages by silently sitting or standing with their masks on.
"They have no choice, no way of protection," TSC parent Stefan Piperov says of students under the age of 12. "That's why we were so particular about the school board trying to take the right decision to protect them in person in school."
"I'm incredibly disappointed but incredibly surprised how people can put forward arguments that are basically discrediting anything that is known by science and by our experts," says TSC parent Ulrike Dydak.
Board members in favor of the mask requirement, including Day and Steve Chidalek, as well as Board President Patrick Hein, urged other members and parents to follow the science.
Those against the requirement, including Brian DeFreese, Joshua Loggins, Julia Cummings and Jacob Burton, wanted to give parents a choice and were concerned about the emotional impact on students.
Board members declined to be interviewed by News 18.
As News 18 reported, Lafayette and West Lafayette are requiring masks next school year.