Multiple area schools begin to implement “masks optional” policy beginning Monday 

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PEOTONE – Multiple schools in Illinois will begin instituting a “masks optional” policy beginning Monday. Among them, Peotone CUSD 207U.

Sunday night Superintendent Steve Stein issued a letter to parents announcing the immediate change following a lawsuit that granted a temporary restraining order by a downstate judge.

“Beginning, Monday, February 7, Peotone schools will be following the conditions set by Judge Grischow and the temporary restraining order that she established, meaning masks will be optional, we will not continue mandatory close contact exclusions or require weekly COVID testing for unvaccinated school personnel.” Stein wrote, adding mandatory mask requirement is still in place for school bus activities. “This issue is certainly going to end up in the appellate court. From what I am hearing, it will likely be finalized at the appellate level by the middle of February.”

A similar letter went out to Herscher Community Unit District #2 parents just before 7pm Sunday night announcing similar measures.

“Effective immediately, face masks will be optional at all Herscher CUSD No. 2 Schools and at all school-related events for both staff and students. In accordance with CDC recommendations, the school district strongly encourages, but will not require, the
wearing of face masks.” Superintendent Dr. Rich Decman stated.

No formal vote by either school board was announced in the letter to parents at either school district.

Manteno Community Unit School District No. 5 called a special emergency meeting of the Board of Education Sunday night to hold a vote to make masks optional.  That meeting is scheduled for 6:30pm at the Manteno High School Library.

Other area schools are expected to make their own similar announcements in the coming days. Others that have include a new mask optional policy as of Sunday night include:

-Iroquois County CUSD #9

**Federal law requires students to wear a mask on school bus/transportation.

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