Protesters Oppose LPS Mask Mandate; Board Urges Mask Wearing Outside School

A small group of protesters outside the Oct. 13 LPS Board of Education meeting. (Becca Costello, NET News)
A small group of protesters outside the Oct. 13 LPS Board of Education meeting. (Becca Costello, NET News)
The Oct. 13 meeting of the LPS Board of Education (Becca Costello, NET News)
October 13, 2020 - 9:30pm

A small group of demonstrators stood outside the Lincoln Public Schools board meeting Tuesday night, asking the district not to require that all students wear masks at school. 

The group of fewer than ten people held signs that said "Let Our Kids Breathe" and "Unmask Our Kids." 

Tanja Chalise has two children in the district. She says they haven't gotten as many mask breaks as they're supposed to, and her daughter in high school wants to be in class every day of the week. 

"I can bring a waiver to not vaccinate my children, but there's no waiver to not wear a mask," Chalise said. "Either you wear it, or you remote learn, or you take your children out. Those are your options. That is not okay." 

LPS Board Vice President Dr. Bob Rauner says community spread of COVID-19 is far too high to consider loosening protective measures. 

"While people may be entitled to their opinions and express them in public comment, if you want us to act on those opinions you need to do your homework, you need to show your math and you need to cite your reputable sources just like I hope your teachers taught you to do," Rauner said, prior to the meeting's public comment period. 

Rauner said he believes most people in Lincoln are wearing masks and limiting social gatherings, but says everyone needs to take those precautions. 

The LPS website shows there have been 214 cases of COVID-19 among students, teachers and staff since the start of school, as of Oct. 7. The LPS dashboard is updated weekly on Thursdays. District officials say all of those cases were contracted outside of school. 

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