While COVID cases seem to be on the rise coming out of the long holiday break, many of those taking the podium to speak at the Oakdale Joint Unified School District board meeting Monday night continued to voice concerns about the ongoing mask mandate.
Stanislaus County – along with the rest of the state – recently saw an extension of the indoor mask mandate through Feb. 15 as a result of rising Omicron variant cases but several residents at the Jan. 10 board meeting complained to the board about forcing kids to mask at school.
Hosted at the district’s Tech Center and also available online, most commenting were attending in person.
One speaker said the mandate basically amounts to “racism is in the schools; it is anti-God, anti-constitution, anti-truth” and that the district should “stop following unlawful mandates.”
Another citizen stated, “We are not mask slaves, this is a communist response to the pandemic. We need more vaccine resolutions, and the board needs to talk about the mask mandate more than they are now.”
Prior to public comment, Student Board Representative Brooklyn Tolboe offered comments to the board, stating that COVID numbers have gone up in school.
There seems to be a division among students as well, she said, with some not wanting to mask and others appreciating the COVID safety protocols put in place.
The district notes that policies and mandates are being enforced and followed alongside the guidelines issued by the California Department of Public Health.
According to the OJUSD school site COVID dashboard, as of Tuesday morning, Jan. 11 at Oakdale High School there were 21 active cases among students, and four active cases among the staff; with a total of 169 cases to date. Total districtwide cases to date are 435; all COVID numbers for the schools and departments within the district can be found on the OHS website under COVID information, or oakdalehigh.com/covid.