Despite the pleas of hundreds of parents who showed up Tuesday night to express their views on a mask mandate for the upcoming school year, the West Ada School District voted to mandate masks for all students, teachers, administrators, and others. The group showed their unity by wearing shirts hoping to send a message to the school board.

Late into the night, the board voted 3-2 to require mask for those attending schools, reports KTVB. There was an exception that provided an opt out option that was proposed by the district superintendent Dr. Derek Bub.  Parents can have their kids not wear mask if they contact the school by filling out a form.

This decision seeks to split the difference between folks that are for the mask and against the masks.  Neither side can claim victory, however each side appears to get what they wanted.  The West Ada School District seeks to rebound from a tumultuous school year that saw lawsuits filed against the district, the resignation of the chairman of the board,along with the resignation of the superintendent and protests against the school board.

We have a firsthand report from Greg who shared his thoughts with us in an email:

As I said, the meeting last night was at least 80/20 with parents and staff in support of parent choice (no mask mandate).  The Board was ultimately split and voted 3-2 on a “compromise” with masks being mandated but allowing students to opt out of the mandate.  I expect a large majority of parents to opt out.  As for the Board direction (including Boise School District where my 4 kids attend), I continue to advocate for relevant facts dictating the Board’s actions.  We need to stop looking at vaccine rates and overall case rates and start looking at actual hospitalizations of kids (which is very low) and deaths (currently zero).  The Board also needs to start acknowledging that when kids get covid (even the Delta variant), they rarely get very sick and even more rarely require hospitalization.  The Board also needs to realize that the parents are not going away.  The chaos they caused last year is only the beginning. 


Unfortunately the district has begun the week with another controversy involving teachers and mask wearing.  The Facebook photos of several teachers playing games without masks has caused a firestorm on social media.

The school year will begin this week for Idaho's largest school district.  All sides hope to avoid what happened last year which was a roller coaster starting with virtual classrooms.  The Boise School District and the Caldwell School are requiring everyone to wear masks starting the school without an opt out.

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