BENSON — When Gov. Doug Ducey rescinded his order requiring face masks in Arizona schools, district administrators, staff and school board members came together to see how they wanted to move forward with the change.
The governor’s announcement allows school districts to decide if students and staff should be required to wear masks on campus
School boards for Benson, St. David and Pomerene districts held special meetings and voted to allow students and staff individual choice when it comes to wearing masks.
“Our meeting was April 21, and in Benson, the majority of students and staff are no longer wearing masks,” said Superintendent Micah Mortensen. “I’m pleased that things are trending toward normalcy and we all look forward to next year with the hope that this trend continues.”
St. David School District also held its special meeting on April 21.
“Our board met the same day Benson’s board met and voted to make masks optional at St. David as well,” said Superintendent Kyle Hart. “We feel that it is important for families and students to be able to choose what is best for them on an individual basis.”
Less than 5 percent of the school’s students and staff are wearing masks.
“Masks are not required for anything,” Hart said. “That option in all cases is up to the individual and their parents.”
St. David school board member Katie Miller said the board’s decision was anonymous.
“We voted to make face masks optional for students and staff, and once we voted for it, nearly all students and staff decided not to wear them,” Miller said.
Pomerene School District’s board meeting was April 22, with Superintendent Mike Sherman reporting the shortest school board meeting he’s ever attended.
“We put a survey out to the community to see if they were in support of individual choice regarding face masks,” Sherman said. “The community was overwhelmingly in support of individual choice, which prompted the April 22 special board meeting.”
At Pomerene, the vast majority of students and staff are no longer wearing face masks, Sherman said.
“It’s good that things are getting back to normal, and we hope it continues.”