Vote over mask mandate in Oakland County schools postponed after heated debate

masks in schools
Posted at 5:49 AM, Sep 03, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-03 06:16:00-04

(WXYZ) — Controversy is brewing in Oakland County after a resolution was introduced to overturn the county's mask mandate for schools.

The mandate was put in place by the county health department, citing CDC guidance. A vote on the resolution to overturn it has now been postponed.

Only 40 people were allowed inside due to COVID-19 protocols, and there were heated feelings from many people before the vote was postponed.

Last week, the county put in the mandate, requiring all K-12 students and teachers to wear masks inside schools due to the high COVID-19 transmission rate in the county. Parents are pushing back hard.

"This is what you're saying: I do not believe in freedom of choice I believe in tyranny, parents do not know what's best for their kids, we do, the government," one person said.

The resolution to reverse the mandate was introduced, and hundreds of people showed up hoping for a vote, which was eventually postponed.

Members of the majority Democrat board have been outspoken on the issue, saying it isn't about politics, despite what some aer suggesting.

"It's really up to the school board or the parents, if they are like me, it would be up to me to do what's right for my family," Commissioner Michael Spisz, a Republican said.

"Most kids K-12 aren't vaccinated because they aren't old enough. Vaccinations and masks work to help prevent spread. Delta is highly contagious and we want to take every step possible to protect kids," Board Chair Dave Woodward, a Democrat, said.

Of those 12 and older in Oakland County, just more than 66% are fully vaccinated, with 71% having at least one dose.

Oakland, Wayne and Washtenaw counties all have mandates in place requiring masks in schools.

Because this resolution will be taken up at a later date for a vote, the mandate will remain in place.

It impacts more than 200,000 kids throughout Oakland County, where some districts had already made the decision to require masks indoors.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said she will continue to leave mandates up to individual districts.

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