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Mandatory masks are a thing of the past at Marion ISD schools.

Board of Director trustees voted 5-2 in favor of allowing faculty and students to choose whether mask wearing is for them, Superintendent Kelly Walters Lindholm said. Effective Monday, masks are no longer required on school property.

“As per [Texas Education Association] Public Health Guidance, the governing board of a school system may modify or eliminate the mask wearing recommendation,” according to a message the district sent parents Thursday morning. “At our monthly board meeting on March 31, 2021, our board elected to eliminate mandatory mask wearing for all students and staff at Marion ISD.”

While not required to wear face coverings on school property, individuals may continue wearing masks if they choose, the message read.

The school board also elected to modify the definition of close contact to exclude anyone properly masked from quarantine, it read.

The board’s vote came following an action item on the meeting agenda. Trustee JC Batey moved to allow student and staff choice in whether to wear face mask coverings, Lindholm said.

Trustees Mike Purcell and Craig Flathouse voted to deny the motion, she said.

The decision came following Texas Gov. Greg Abbott’s announcement last month rescinding his statewide mask mandate and reopening Texas businesses to 100% capacity. The TEA released it’s guidance the following day saying schools must continue to wear masks unless directed otherwise by their governing boards.

Lindholm took the decision to her board and it voted Tuesday night to remove the district’s mask mandate.

Dalondo Moultrie is the assistant managing editor of the Seguin Gazette. You can e-mail him at dalondo.moultrie@seguingazette.com .

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