Douglas County School District set to overturn classroom mask requirements for students

Douglas County School District
Posted at 10:54 PM, Dec 06, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-08 07:21:07-05

UPDATE: The Douglas County School District Board of Education voted to adopt a resolution to allow parents to choose whether their kids wear masks and prohibits the district from putting a vaccine mandate in place.


CASTLE ROCK, Colo. — The Douglas County School Board is set to vote on Tuesday to overturn the district's mask policy for students in schools.

Currently, masks are required at schools because of a mandate put in place by the previous school board before the election in November. Now with four new board members decidedly focused on parental choice, the mask mandate will likely be replaced.

"The Board recommends, regardless of vaccination status, personal and parent choice with respect to whether or not children should wear face coverings while at school," the resolution reads.

It goes on to say that the plan will allow for "appropriate and necessary accommodation of students with disabilities as required by the ADA."

For some parents, like Brandi Bradley, the change is an outcome from the election where upset parents voted to insert new school board members. The four new board members campaigned on a promise to bring more control to parents over issues like masks, vaccines and the district's equity policy.

"If you want to put your child in mask, feel free to put your child in mask. But if you don't, I think you should have that choice as a parent to do so," said Bradley, who helped to get the four new board members elected to council. "Parents should have the final decision in the health of our children."

But others, like Kate Gould, disagree. She says that the new mandate will hurt her son who has cystic fibrosis. She says the accommodations offered will effectively segregate her child from the school population.

"This is not about protecting kids. This is about a political ideology," Gould said. "It's important that [my son] be protected and also that he have equal access to in-person public education."

Douglas County has been at the center of a growing debate over public health and personal choice. The county recently broke from the Tri-County Health Department over masking mandates countywide.

The new Douglas County Health Department has endorsed the school district's decision to make masking optional in schools, though it later modified a public health order that made masks optional to not include schools following a now-dismissed lawsuit.

The vote at the Douglas County School Board is set for Tuesday evening after a public comment.