The Stafford Township school board has approved a resolution asking NJ. Gov. Phil Murphy to rescind his mandatory mask mandate and allow the board of Education to make the final determination about whether students and staff need to wear masks in school.

The Press of Atlantic City reports that the school board approved the resolution by a vote of 7-1 on Aug 9, saying that the school district was a better judge of the needs of their district.

"The Stafford Township Board of Education is in the best position to quickly implement, remove, or revise COVID-19 mitigation strategies based on facts specific to the local region and school district."

Gov. Murphy announced on Aug. 6 that all students, educators, staff, and visitors will be required to wear face masks indoors for the start of the 2021-2022 school year, covering indoor use of masks in all public, private, and parochial school buildings, with limited exceptions.

Earlier this summer he had announced that masking decisions for students and staff would be a local decision.

When he changed his mind, Murphy said the spread of the delta variant had forced his hand.

In recent weeks, both the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and American Academy of Pediatrics have called for students to wear masks due to the increasing prevalence of the Delta COVID-19 variant, the ineligibility of those under 12 for vaccination, and a rise in pediatric COVID-19 cases.....While this announcement gives us no pleasure, I know that by taking this precaution we can keep our schools open while also keeping our children safe.

The Stafford Township Board of Education forwarded their resolution to Sen. President Stephen Sweeney, Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin, Department of Education Acting Commissioner Angelica Allen-McMillan, as well as 9th Legislative District representatives and Ocean County Executive County Superintendent Charles Muller, according to the Press of Atlantic City.

Last school year, a Stafford Township school nurse was suspended for not wearing a mask and a protest ensued outside the school board meeting.

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