School Board Special Meeting Scheduled for Friday

RUSSELL, Pa. – The Warren County School District Board of Directors has scheduled a special meeting for Friday, Oct. 8, at 8 a.m.

The meeting has been called “for the purpose of rescinding motions regarding masking, acting on the ARP ESSER Health & Safety Plan and engaging legal counsel.”

During its Aug. 30 meeting, the board voted 5-3 to only issue warnings for those students who don’t wear a mask on district transportation.

The motion passed at the Sept. 13 school board meeting allowed parents to claim an exemption from the Pennsylvania Department of Health’s indoor mask order without substantiation from a medical professional.

The Health and Safety Plan on the agenda for approval contains language that states all individuals must wear a mask indoors unless the person has “a medical or mental health condition or disability documented in accordance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act or IDEA, that precludes the wearing of a mask/face covering.”

The Plan goes on to state that students who violate the mask order will be subject to discipline under the Discipline Code and staff subject to the district’s employee discipline policies.

The meeting was scheduled just a day after a federal judge in Erie issued a temporary restraining order that forced the district to require medical documentation in order to grant exemptions to the Pennsylvania Department of Health’s indoor mask order.

The order was granted in response to a lawsuit filed by a group of students and parents.

Friday’s meeting will be held virtually and a link to the meeting, as well as instructions for how to make public comment, can be found on the WCSD website.