Monmouth County superintendent who would not make masks optional placed on administrative leave

A retiring superintendent of a school district in Monmouth County is now on administrative leave because he would not go against state mask mandates in his district.

News 12 Staff

Jun 9, 2021, 11:53 AM

Updated 1,044 days ago

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A retiring superintendent of a school district in Monmouth County is now on administrative leave because he would not go against state mask mandates in his district.
Discussions took place Tuesday night at the Manalapan Englishtown Regional School districts board meeting.
With less than 30 days left in his career, outgoing Superintendent John Marciante asked to be suspended rather than put kids and staff in the middle of what he says are the majority of parents wanting to defy state mask mandates.
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“I am very happy with the decision,” says parent David Ferber. “We fought hard to get the mask mandate lifted here in Manalapan for the remainder of the school year.”
Ferber is just one of the majority of parents who have kids in the district who say no more masking. Last week, more than 2,000 parents responded to a survey. Two-thirds of all respondents said they want masks optional for the remainder of the year.
“We are not going to give up fighting because I do not want to see my kids being forced to wear a mask in school unless we see some kind of major uptick in the virus,” says Ferber.
But during the heated board meeting, Marciante wanted to strictly follow CDC and state mandates, which means masks on inside the mostly air-conditioned schools. Parents objected, and due to concerns of staff and students getting caught in the middle, Marciante told the board to put him on leave, transferring power to the board to side with the parents.  
“It was the only option that he was given,” says Ferber. “The superintendent did not want to budge. He had the opportunity to do what was right and make the right decision for our kids and for the parents.”
Other parents say the survey was vague and they are concerned by unmasked children and unvaccinated children in schools. Marciante's administrative leave ends June 22. He will retire at the end of the month.


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