BARRINGTON, Ill. (CBS) — It is a debate happening at almost every school district in the state and around the country – what to do when it comes to masking this fall.
On Wednesday night, there was no shortage of fireworks in Barrington when the issue came up. The meeting had been going on for more than four hours as of 10 p.m., and more than 60 people had signed up.READ MORE: COVID-19 In Illinois: Case Count Declines For 3rd Consecutive Week; Infection Rate Lowest Since July
As CBS 2’s Charlie De Mar reported, the board even stopped the meeting at one point because of people’s behavior.
Constant interruptions and outbursts forced Barrington 220 School District board to take a recess just minutes into the meeting Wednesday night, which focused on the divisive issue of masks for COVID-19.
Some of the biggest reaction from the crowd came in response to smallest in attendance. Children chanted, “We don’t want to wear these masks,” and had the words, “Please don’t make me wear a mask,” printed on their T-shirts.
“You are simply making decisions based on your own fears,” one girl told the board.
The district is recommending masks for unvaccinated students in grades 6 through 12 grade – but they aren’t required. Kids younger than 12 who aren’t yet eligible for the vaccine will continue wearing masks.READ MORE: Obamas Return To Chicago For Groundbreaking Of Presidential Center Tuesday
“I am extremely frustrated and I feel it’s disrespectful,” said Dr. Kadijah Ray.
Ray is a local physician and has a child in second grade. She along several others at the meeting want the board to follow the American Academy of Pediatrics’ most recent guidelines for schools. Those guidelines recommend everyone older than 2 years old to wear a mask regardless of vaccination status
“I didn’t think that I needed to be out here to have a debate when it’s so clear – the experts have spoken,” Ray said. “I would like the school board to continue universal masking.”
But Heather Dusek, who spoke at the meeting Wednesday night with her children, said the decision on masks should not be up to the board.
“I would like the choice, yes,” she said.MORE NEWS: Jordan Hassell Charged With Making Multiple Social Media Threats Targeting Chicago Public Schools
We are told that no action was expected Wednesday night on what to do about masks for schools in Barrington, but the board will discuss all the public comments.