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To Minot Public School Board

Jessica Mowbray, Minot

First of all, I would like to thank the board and Minot Public Schools for their dedication to the children of the district. This school year has been challenging for teachers, staff, parents, and students due to Covid-19. My two children are at Magic City Campus and Jim Hill; as a family, we are happy that the decision was made to have face-to-face education, as well as distance learning.

Socially, it is important for them to interact with their peers and teachers. Personally, I have worked as a substitute teacher for MPS throughout the 2020-2021 school year and have witnessed firsthand how teachers, aides, administrators, custodians and other staff members have adapted their routines and lessons to ensure the safety of the students and their families. Although stressful, those choices have made it possible for students to receive an education, whether through in-class or distance learning.

At the beginning of the school year, I completely understood why mask usage was deemed necessary in order to make face-to-face learning possible. The Covid-19 numbers in North Dakota were skyrocketing, and we all wanted to protect our loved ones. We were told at that time that masks and proper sanitation procedures, as well as quarantining when necessary, were the only way to ensure that safety. Thankfully, today, in Ward County and across the state, Covid-19 numbers are plummeting.

Therefore, with less than one month left of school, I am asking that the school board and administrators of Minot Public Schools give individuals the option to wear masks in schools, not mandate them. Additionally, this upcoming school year, if Covid-19 numbers continue to follow today’s pattern, masks should be optional as well. Give our students and families the choice. As a substitute, I observe kids not wearing masks properly fifty percent of the time. Teachers, administrators, and other staff members have become the mask police, constantly reminding kids to pull up their masks. We need to worry about educating students, not micro-managing them. The State of North Dakota has let the mask mandate expire; Minot Public Schools should do the same.

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