BOZEMAN — The Bozeman School Board hosted a long meeting Monday night that resulted in a vote to approve an emergency declaration that puts a face mask mandate in action.
The vote, 7-1, will make the mask mandate effective on Tuesday. The board also moved to make updates to the original mask policy. Bozeman students will be returning back to school next week under a mask mandate.
Hundreds of people joined the virtual meeting and dozens chimed in during public comment to express how they felt.
“I believe that parents should have the right to make medical decisions, not the seven of you, for my child, for any child,” one parent said. “I don’t believe you have the right to make that decision for my child.”
“Masks are a little more than a minor inconvenience in the scale of things,” said another parent. “If wearing a mask saves one child’s life or the life of a parent or grandparent, I think the inconvenience pales in comparison to the potential benefit.”
During the meeting, the board also agreed to hire Ray & Associates as the firm to conduct the search for the next superintendent.
The firm was selected after giving a presentation to the board along with one other firm. More details about the search will be released soon.
Missoula County Public Schools is requiring face coverings to begin the school year while there is no mask mandate in the Kalispell school district. The Hamilton School District will require face coverings for some younger students.