OnFocus – Students at Colby High School have banded together to push to end the school-wide mask mandate that has been in place since going back full-time this school year.
According to an email from school Superintendent Dr. Steve Kolden shared with OnFocus, two juniors at the school drafted a petition last week and got 267 signatures out of 301 students at the high school.
Upon meeting with Kolden, the students admitted that they had signatures from 8th graders and some duplicates. Kolden said in the email to parents that the conversation he had with the students was a productive one.
“We had a GREAT conversation and I thanked them for sitting and talking face to face,” Kolden said. “We agreed a significant number of students would like to see mask requirements lifted. They shared their concerns, I shared mine. We talked for about 30 minutes.”
The two students then met with Kolden on Monday, joined by representatives of the sophomore, junior and senior class student council. The students had “cleaned up” the petition and had a total of 124 signatures from students at the high school. Kolden spoke glowingly about the students that wished to express their opinions on the mandate.
“I have to say, once again, the conversation was awesome,” Kolden said. “They shared opinions and listend to one another with respect. They did not have the same opinion or perspective on masks. We talked [for] about 35-40 minutes.”
Kolden said in the email that the students decided to let the seniors decide what should happen as they have the most at stake with their last high school sports seasons and graduation hanging in the balance.
The senior class will be meeting with Kolden on Wednesday to discuss what should come of the petition and ultimately, the school’s mask policy. Kolden said he plans to support whatever consensus that the seniors come to.
Updates will be shared as they come.
The state-wide mask mandate was rejected by the Wisconsin Supreme Court back in late March.
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