Holmen School Board hears from public again on mask mandate

HOLMEN, Wis. (WKBT)- The controversy over a mask requirement in Holmen Schools isn’t going away.

The Holmen School Board heard from people on both sides of the issue again Monday night, even though the mask mandate has been in place since a few days before the start of school.

More than 15 people spoke for and against the policy at Monday night’s meeting.

“I’m a huge personal liberty guy myself. My basic understanding of freedom is I can basically do whatever I want so long as it doesn’t put other people in harm’s way. For everyone to be free, we need to get cases, reduce infectiousness, this is not just a school issue, but a community issue,” said Erik Jensen in support of the mask mandate.

“The Delta variant is highly infectious. We want kids in school learning where it’s best. In order to do that, we need to follow the guidance from the experts, not public opinion. We need to distance, mask and vaccinate,” Jensen continued.

Tony Szak was one of several parents who spoke out against the mask mandate. “The cloth masks that our kids wear do them no good. You can not cite one study that cloth masks are effective on kids because the study does not exist. I think it’s absurd that we would sit here today and say that is why the numbers are so low,” said Szak.

“How about this? This pandemic is over. It’s time to unmask our kids. We’ve just been asking to make them optional. You’re scared. I get it. We all were at the beginning, but the data does not justify nearly two years of cowering in fear. It certainly does not justify mandates, especially for our children,” Szak continued.

Szak’s daughter, a student representative on the school board, staged a protest against masks outside the meeting. She says she feels she represents the majority of her classmates on the issue.