Residents Meet to Discuss Mask Mandate
September 9, 2021
An estimated 80 people attended a meeting at the Williamsburg Veteran’s Memorial Center on Sunday evening, in response to an UnmaskOurKids Facebook group. Those in attendance were community leaders, parents and students of the district. A youth protest on Tuesday, Sept. 7 was discussed and students were urged to be safe, respectful and to keep the protest peaceful.
Those in attendance were asked to contact the school district and the school board members about an emergency school board meeting to provide additional information to the community regarding the mask mandate handed down by Gov. Tom Wolf last week.
Petitions were also given out for parents and community members to sign for “freedom of choice” in regard to the mask mandate – there would also be a second student-only petition out.
The group stated that it would have meetings each Sunday at 7:30 p.m. to continue discussions and present information to the public. Organizers also wanted to contact parents from other school districts against mask mandates by coordinating efforts and contact state and local representatives state Sen. Judy Ward (R-30th) and state Rep. Jim Gregory (R-80th) about the mandate. Following the meeting, parents of the school district received an email from Superintendent Lisa Murgas stating that she has received “numerous” emails and phone calls regarding the mandate.
“We understand all viewpoints and concerns come out of advocating and love for your children. At this point, we do have to follow this mandate,” the email said.
Murgas continued by saying, “Our students, staff and community have been through a great deal over the past year and a half, and students and staff deserve to have an environment where they feel safe and comfortable – not anxious.”
The email went on to address issues such as an opt-out form for parents to sign and if a student has a medical condition that qualifies them to be an exception to mask order – the steps to do so.