State-wide mask mandate causes controversy in Bucks County's Pennridge School District

The district made it clear in a Facebook post that it wasn't happy with the mask mandate, calling it disruptive.

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Friday, September 3, 2021
Pa. mask mandate causes controversy in Bucks County
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The mask order in all Pennsylvania public and private schools has caused push-back in some districts, including Pennridge in Bucks County.

PERKASIE, Pennsylvania (WPVI) -- In just a few days, all Pennsylvania students will be required to wear masks at school and so will their teachers.

The order from Governor Tom Wolf has caused push-back in some districts, including Pennridge in Bucks County. There is controversy brewing in the Pennridge School District, and it's all over masking.

"I think it should be the parent's choice. If they want their kids to wear a mask, they should let them wear a mask," said Marc Andre.

Amid a COVID-19 resurgence, The Pennsylvania Department of Health ordered all public and private schools to mask up.

RELATED: Pennsylvania reverses course, mandates masks in K-12 schools and day cares

"This is a very controversial topic. Me personally, right now with all the unknowns, me as a parent, I would want my child to," said Tia Williams.

The Pennridge School District made it clear in a recent Facebook post that it wasn't happy with the mask mandate, calling it disruptive to families and the district.

"I feel that I honestly don't want my child to wear a mask. I think it is hard for them socially to be able to talk to one another," said Trisha Lear.

The district says the mask mandate goes against the wishes of the majority of those in the community. It created a form that would allow parents to claim exemption from the mandate by citing a medical reason or disability. No doctor's note would be required.

Dozens of parents contacted Action News upset over the form. Many say it encourages parents to lie and was a loophole to get around kids wearing masks.

SEE ALSO: Pennridge School Board votes to pause Diversity, Equity and Inclusion program

"It was unprofessional. It seemed a bit aggressive and it was just unprofessional," said Samantha Constable.

"I think it is really important to make the best decision based on the current data and information we are getting and then reviewing it, even if the school board is reviewing it every two weeks," said Joan Staples.

Pennridge School District had no comment surrounding the matter, and for now, it will boil down to the honor system.

"If people choose to lie, it is on them. I don't know how we police that without becoming way too involved in people's lives," said Staples.

"I don't think you should mandate it but I do believe in masks for kids. I am fine with it. I think kids are doing well with wearing masks my granddaughters are," said Liane.

Action News did reach out to the state about this, and state officials remind districts that if they don't follow the mask mandate, they could face penalties and lawsuits.