Lanesville schools continue with voluntary masking
Kaitlyn Clay, Staff Writer, [email protected]
Lanesville Community School Corp. decided against implementing a mask mandate for students, but Superintendent Steve Morris advised at the board meeting last Tuesday evening that parents can choose voluntarily to have their children wear masks or, if 12 or older, receive the vaccine.
He noted that a majority of students who are required to quarantine due to contact tracing are not receiving positive COVID-19 test results after being tested.
As of yesterday morning (Tuesday), Lanesville Elementary had four active cases and the junior-senior high school had five active cases of COVID.
Morris said his hope is to eventually not have to quarantine students who do not exhibit symptoms of the virus but, until then, students can choose to wear masks if they desire.
“We are not at a point where we need to have mandatory masks at schools, but we are collectively talking about that option all the time,” Morris said. “We need to see a higher spread in the community and the school before we decide to make it mandatory.”
Following up on a issue that was brought to the school board during the July meeting, regarding transgender students and bathroom usage, Morris explained a process for how the corporation will attend to these issues when they arise presently and in future instances.
“Every situation will be handled on a case-by-case basis and will be extremely private and confidential,” Morris said. “First, there must be a request from a student made. Administration will then look at what pronouns are being used, clothes being worn, what medical support or psychological support the student is receiving and we will get statements from parents or guardians to understand that this is a legitimate request.”
He said there currently are gender-neutral rest rooms throughout the school building and locker changing facilities available to students who come with a “no-questions-asked approach” from faculty and others.
“Our overarching goal is to foster understanding of what the situation is and that we are living a belief that we have a school culture that respects the dignity of every student that walks through our doors,” Morris said.
He also added that there have been zero issues in the school with students claiming to be a specific gender just to have access to another bathroom, which was a large topic of discussion from parents and community members at the July meeting.
In other business at last week’s meeting, the board approved the resignation of varsity baseball coach Jon Will, who coached the most recent Eagles’ season. Will led the team after the previous resignation of head coach Zach Payne, who has taken the role of athletic director for the current school year.
The school board’s next meeting is planned for Tuesday, Sept. 21, at 5:30 p.m., during which time the board will begin its budget discussions for 2022.