Marlboro school board supports parental choice on masks if given option

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MARLBORO – The members of the Marlboro K-8 School District Board of Education have voted 9-0 to pass a resolution which states that when Gov. Phil Murphy ends a directive which requires every child in New Jersey to wear a mask in school during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, they will support giving parents the choice to determine if their children will continue to wear a mask in school.

During a meeting on Jan. 18, board member Aldo Patruno made a motion for the board to pass what was referred to as a parental choice resolution.

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On a roll call vote, board President Randy Heller, Vice President Tricia Branch, Kathleen Amster, Susie Shrem, Christina Russotto, Jessica Piernik, Jennifer Silacci, Jill Strafaci and Patruno voted “yes” on the motion to pass the parental choice resolution.

During recent Marlboro school board meetings, some parents have voiced their objection to the Governor’s directive which requires children to wear a mask in school, but does not require children to wear a mask at sporting events, in restaurants, while shopping, and at other public locations.

Heller subsequently told the News Transcript that “the resolution passed by the board expressed the board’s support for parent choice on masking when/if permitted by the Governor under the law and executive orders.

“The board also asked for a meeting to be scheduled when the executive orders expire and parent choice is permitted so the board and administration can discuss the plan for student masking moving forward.

“The implementation of the specific plan that is developed, including its timing and day-to-day procedures, would be at the administrative level, decided by the superintendent and his staff,” Heller said.

Following the passage of the parental choice resolution, Patruno made a motion for the board to resolve to write a letter to Murphy calling on him to stop extending for an indefinite period of time his executive orders relating to school matters and the coronavirus pandemic.

Patruno’s motion did not receive a second from another member of the board and his proposal died without a roll call vote. Because of that outcome, the board will not be writing a letter to the Governor addressing his executive orders.

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