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Central Bucks School District drops mask mandate


With classes coming to a close for the summer recess, the Central Bucks School Board voted 4-3 to end the district’s mask mandate and make wearing a face covering optional for the final few days of the school year. The vote came at a special meeting on June 2.

Voting to make mask-wearing a personal choice were board President Diane Hunter and board members Sharon Collopy, Daniel King and Leigh Vlasblom. Opposing the move were Tracy Suits, Jodi Schwartz and Karen Smith. The board’s vice president John Gamble said he had a prior commitment and left the meeting prior to the vote and board member Lorraine Sciuto-Ballasy was absent.

The meeting was scheduled just days after the board abruptly changed its leadership, removing Suits as president and Smith as vice president.

Several dozen people spoke at the meeting, where many expressed support for dropping the mask requirement and many others questioned the need to do so, so close to the end of the school year.

Before the approximately two hours of public comment, Dr. David Damsker, director of the Bucks County Health Department, told the school board he no longer thought masks were necessary in the district’s schools.

“Given the epidemiology of where we are today, I think masks should be optional going forward,” Damsker said. “I wouldn’t have said that in April.”

More than 600 parents signed a petition calling for an end to the mask mandate.