DuBois, PA – With about 40 people in attendance at the DuBois Area School Board meeting last night, although the mask mandate was not a part of anything that the board voted on during the meeting itself, masks were a hot topic during the public comment section.

Any members who wished to speak during the meeting were asked to keep their comments to two minutes, as has been policy since long before the mask debates. However, after pushback from speakers, the board allowed speakers to go longer than that time for this meeting and asked speakers to be mindful of their time.

Speakers also needed to be taxpayers within the school district.

Some guests in attendance were reminded multiple times to remain respectful and on-topic.

A petition was also given to the school board against the mask mandate, with 305 signatures.

No changes were made to the Dubois Area School District’s mask policy, and it remains as it has since Sept. 7.

School officials say their hands are tied, as the mask mandate comes from the Pennsylvania Department of Health and school administrators could lose certifications if they fail to comply. They maintain that, even although it seems that at least some of the school board members do not agree with the mandate or how it’s written, the change has to be made on a state level. Members of the legislature are currently working on a variety legal disputes against the mask mandates.

Schools are asking for your patience and understanding, regardless of where you stand on the mask issue. Please be respectful and acknowledge that students, parents, teachers, and school staff have all been continuously put in tough situations that don’t necessarily have easy answers or solutions.

Some additional videos and full transcripts of public comments are available via the DASD Families Against Mask Mandates Facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/360869255707651