The Winchester School District has voted to adopt the N.H. Department of Public Health Services mask matrix by way of a 3-2 vote at its Aug. 19 meeting.
There were parents and faculty in attendance and neither were allowed to voice their opinions before the vote was cast. Board member Todd Kilanski asked Chairwoman Lindseigh Picard to allow concerned parents to speak before the vote. That recommendation was not considered nor acknowledged; and, rather, Picard immediately called the vote.
Kilanski also stated that it has been known for public comment to be heard on issues before a vote is made, which Picard acknowledged to be true. Three members of the public voiced concerns during public comment at the end of the meeting and less showed their support.
There were several additional parents who attended to voice their opinion on this issue, but when the public was not allowed to speak before the vote was cast, and the meeting then went on for another hour or so before any public comment was allowed, parents left without having the opportunity to voice their concern or support on the issue before a vote was cast.
At the end of the meeting that evening, School Principal Valerie Carey requested of the board that maintenance staff and and teachers be allowed to not wear masks in the building after school lets out for the day because there would be less people in the building. This followed the vote that was taken earlier to have everyone masked in the building at all times. After discussion, the board voted down this request.
(These writers are members of the Winchester School Board.)