COVID-19

As schools fall in line with county mask mandate, one district is a hold out

Climax-Scotts Community Schools will not require masks, defying a county-wide public health order.

Most school districts in Kalamazoo County will require students and staff to wear masks when the fall semester begins next week. But one district is refusing to go along with a county-wide mask mandate.

The board of education at Climax-Scotts Community Schools voted on Monday to only recommend students wear masks, defying a county public health order that schools require masks for kindergarten through sixth grades.

Sign up for our daily newsletter

A weekday morning email roundup of Kalamazoo stories and events.

The decision came due to “current data, our proximity to Calhoun County where the numbers are lower than Kalamazoo, and how masks inhibit learning for young students,” said Superintendent Doug Newington. The district straddles the Kalamazoo and Calhoun county line.

Parents at Monday night’s meeting cheered the decision.

It is unclear what, if anything, the Kalamazoo County Department of Health and Community Services (KCDHCS) will do about the situation. Health officials are allowed to issue public health orders, but enforcing those orders could be time-consuming.

County Health Officer Jim Rutherford told WOOD TV 8 that he is aware of the situation at Climax-Scotts. “We are currently in the process of discussing this issue with them,” he said.

[WOOD, MLive]

Support local. Donate today to Kalamazoo's only locally owned and independent daily news organization.