SELINSGROVE — Masks will be required inside all Selinsgrove Area School District buildings and buses unless an individual can produce a signed note from a physician exempting them from covering their nose and mouth.
The school board voted 8-1 Monday to adopt the Health and Safety Plan that includes the mask exemption only in cases where a physician recommends they not be worn. Board member Amelia Stauffer casted the only opposition vote.
About 40 mostly unmasked residents attended the public meeting, with several expressing their displeasure with the mandate enacted earlier this month at all schools by the Pennsylvania Department of Health less than a month after the Selinsgrove Area School Board voted to make masking optional.
“We are between a rock and a hard place,” board President Dennis Wolfe told the crowd.
John Fromile, a father of four children who attend Selinsgrove schools, said he has been unable to find a Valley physician willing to sign a mask exemption and asked the board members to take a stand.
“This takes our choice away. If you do not listen to us and take it out of our hands, there will be accountability,” said Fromile, a Republican candidate for the Selinsgrove Borough Council this fall. “We will make sure someone runs against you.”
Superintendent Frank Jankowski said the administration must follow the state masking order.
“We are not in opposition to what you want,” he said, appealing to the anti-maskers to reach out to state lawmakers.
“The bottom line is the problem isn’t here, it’s in Harrisburg,” said board member Kenneth Teats, who along with board members Stauffer and Matthew Slivinski did not wear a mask during the meeting.