Climax-Scotts schools backs down from mask fight

The district has backtracked on its decision to defy a countywide mask mandate.

Just days after refusing to enact a mask mandate, one Kalamazoo County school district is backtracking. Climax-Scotts Community Schools will require most students and staff be masked while indoors.

Last week, Kalamazoo County Health Officer Jim Rutherford issued a public health order affecting all schools in the county. It required all students in kindergarten through sixth grade and the staff who work with them to wear masks.

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The Climax-Scotts Board of Education voted on Monday to defy that county order, arguing that its small class sizes and position on the border with Calhoun County meant it didn’t need to follow the edict.

But after some reflection and discussions with county health officials, the board on Thursday reversed course. Ultimately, board members said, the fight was unwinnable and could result in fines.

“We may not like the masks, but that’s what we need to do to keep the school open,” said Trustee Jackie Longman.


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