Man who refused to wear mask prompts cancellation of Blue Valley COVID-19 response hearing

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OVERLAND PARK, Kan. — A parent’s attempt to change the Blue Valley Schools’ mask mandate was canceled Tuesday after one man refused to wear a mask inside the hearing room.

At least two parents in the Blue Valley School District requested the hearing to challenge the mask-wearing requirement for students and teachers.

But one member of the audience, a man wearing a baseball cap, refused to put on a mask for the hearing, which the district required of all those who wished to observe or participate.

The hearing officer, selected by the district from an outside firm, ordered everyone out of the hearing room and asked that only mask wearers be re-admitted.

The unidentified man without a mask refused to leave and that prompted the school district to cancel the hearing.

FOX4 tried to speak with the man, as did several others.

He declined to say anything about why he would not wear a mask or why he would not leave the hearing room.

“I think it’s just sad that one individual was able to determine the result of not having the meeting because he refused to wear the mask,” said Julie Spiegel, a Blue Valley parent who supports the district’s current mask policy.

“He actually should not have been allowed to enter the room without the mask being put on because there were a number of individuals claiming medical reasons that refused to put a mask on, but they ended up putting one on for the sake of having a meeting, where we could listen to both sides of the story and have a respectful meeting.”

A new law in Kansas gives local school boards the sole power to close schools, determine learning modes and implement mitigation measures in response to COVID-19.

Parents, employees or students who don’t like what a district is doing can request a hearing, and that’s what was supposed to happen Tuesday.

Even opponents of the mask policy did wear masks for the hearing and some agreed that the actions of one man deprived those challenging the policy of their right to present their case.

The school district said the hearing will now take place virtually.

A time and date have not yet been set.

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