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Inconsistency masks a District U-46 policy stance

By Seth Hancock  
  Rules for thee but not for me, that appears to be the School District U-46 way.
  The district demands the public follow its dictates when exercising their free speech rights, but apparently U-46 staff does not have to comply.
  Mary Fergus, director of school and community relations, presented an award to a member of the U-46 staff at the Board of Education on Monday, May 10 held at South Elgin High School where it was holding a recognition ceremony honoring the top 2 percent of graduating seniors.
  Lela Majstorovic, assistant superintendent of secondary schools, instruction and equity, made opening remarks at the meeting stating: “We are still following strict guidelines from our local health department.”  
  However, Fergus took her face mask off while speaking and it remained off for minutes after while taking photographs without a mention from Superintendent Tony Sanders. Furthermore, Fergus stood momentarily right next to board member Melissa Owens as well as Maggie Schroeder, the staff member receiving the award.  
  This was in direct contrast to what occurred a few weeks prior. As The Examiner reported, the district threatened to remove members of the public at the April 26 board meeting and deny their right to speak to the board.
  In a separate room from the board, because U-46 claimed the board room was “at capacity,” two members of the public were threatened by district staff and an Elgin police officer to be removed because their face masks were down momentarily.
  Jeanette Ward, a mother and former board member, addressed the board during public comments. Sitting at a table nowhere near anybody, Ward took her mask off to speak but was interrupted by Sanders: “You can keep your mask up.”  
  “I’m way more than six feet away from anyone in this room,” Ward responded. “I’m about 20 or 30 feet away.”
  Sanders replied: “We do have a requirement to wear masks while we’re in here. We’re all wearing our masks.”

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