Wall School Board meeting adjourned because parents would not wear masks
A Wall Township School Board Meeting had to be adjourned when too many parents refused to wear masks inside of the building.
Earlier this month the school board sent a letter to Gov. Phil Murphy requesting that individual school districts be given the choice whether to wear masks in school. The governor previously issued a mandate that all students, faculty and staff must wear masks indoors.
When Tuesday night’s meeting ended early, a vocal group of mostly unmasked parents voiced their displeasure. Some of them even shouted “Cowards” toward the board.
“Our attorney said because there is an executive order and the school districts are responsible for following the executive order, we cannot have the meeting,” school board president Ralph Addonizio tells News 12 New Jersey.
But the parents aren’t buying it.
“I think the board should have never done it. It was a theatrical show, they keep doing these theatrics where they close the meetings and walk away,” says parent Patti Nawolski.
Nawolski attended the meeting, but never got a chance to speak. The mother of two girls is an outspoken critic of masks. She says that she and her children won’t ever comply.
“The kids can go to a restaurant and play sports and go everywhere and anywhere with their parents all summer long and sit down without a mask. Why can’t they sit at a desk where they learn and absorb?” she asks.
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Some people who are following the Wall situation say that the parents are setting a bad example for their children.
Patricia Dreyfuss wrote, “What hope is there for our future when parents act like children? Grow up – mask up.”
But some are worried that the display at the Wall Township meeting is just the beginning once school resumes.
“I believe there are pockets of people like this all around the state. Probably maybe a little larger than that number,” Addonizio says. “Our district’s point from Day 1 was home rule. Let the local district make the decision.”
Parents like Nawolski say that they will never stop fighting the mandate.
“Already parents have pulled their kids out of districts and are homeschooling or doing pods. A lot of them are. And I think parents are going to send them without masks and see what happens. Let it go from there,” she says.
The rescheduled school board meeting will be held next week virtually.
Addonizio says that he wants to host a town hall meeting between students, parents, staff, and the governor to discuss the parents' concerns.
Murphy has not made any indication that he would reverse the executive order.
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