A boy listens to his headphones as Douglas County Health Board members debate allowing students and teachers to opt out of masking mandates in schools at an Oct. 8 special meeting. (Jessica Gibbs, CCM photo)

This story first appeared in a Colorado Community Media newspaper. Support CCM’s neighborhood news. The Colorado Sun is an owner of CCM.

Masks are again optional in the Douglas County School District.

So is vaccinating against COVID-19 after a new school board majority passed a resolution that prohibits the district from enacting a universal mask-wearing mandate or vaccine policies.

The resolution adopted Wednesday — the board’s special Tuesday night meeting ran past midnight — takes effect immediately. Implementation will be up to each school.

Schools are also tasked with making individual accommodations for people who might be vulnerable to COVID-19.  

The resolution said the district would comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act, which may require that people in individual classrooms or activities wear masks around people more susceptible to getting severely ill from the virus.

Federal, state and local mandates would supersede the policy.

Board President Mike Peterson said the goal is to provide students with a consistent, predictable masking policy and move to a system where individual accommodations are made instead of broad mandates.

He also urged respect for district staff as they shift to the new system and for people who will still need masking around them.

“Man, there better not be bullying around this thing,” Peterson said. “If you are a parent, you need to not bully.”

Read more at coloradocommunitymedia.com.

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