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Parents clash over mask mandate during West Geauga Board of Education meeting

"This isn't about 'me,' it's about 'we'."

CHESTERLAND, Ohio — The ongoing nationwide debate over requiring masks at schools as the number of cases of COVID-19 rise was on display Monday night in Chesterland.

West Geauga Local Schools has a mask mandate in place, as face masks or face shields are required to be worn at all indoor facilities in the district through October 22. The district says at that point, it will revisit the mask requirement and determine whether or not to extend it.

In the meantime, during the district's school board meeting on Monday, parents were again given an opportunity to voice their opinion on the explosive topic. 

Amid signs that read "NO MASKS," or "YOUR EXPERTS ARE CORRUPT," and "Spread kindness, not COVID," speakers representing both sides of the debate took the microphone. 

"This isn't about 'me,' it's about 'we'," a parent favoring mask mandates stated. "Right now, our schools are open and our children are able to learn in-person. Each day is a gift. I truly don't understand how anyone could want us to go maskless right now."

A father wearing a "No mask for kids at school" shirt took the school board to task for making students wear "a face cloth that serves no purpose. "How do I know there's no intended purpose behind it? Because there's no science behind any of your conversations."

One speaker even came down from Kirtland to voice her disgust over the mask mandate. "As an adult, I am responsible for me and I'm responsible for my children. I will not wear a mask because they harbor bacteria."

Prior to the meeting, the district stated that those refusing to wear a face mask would be asked to leave the premises. "Any individuals behaving in a disorderly and disruptive manner will be asked to leave, and failure to comply with any such request may result in removal from the Board meeting by local law enforcement," the district wrote on its website. There were also several members of local law enforcement present at the meeting.

Click here to watch the Board of Education meeting

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