South Harrison Re-Entry Plan Approved Without A Mask Mandate

South Harrison School Board members approved the School’s Re-Entry Plan that has been developed by the district without any changes to the plan that had previously been released to the public for their review. That unamended plan’s approval came despite a recommendation by health care personnel and officials who urged the district to implement a plan for mandatory masks for all grades and buildings in situations where social distancing could not be practiced. The vote came at a meeting held on Monday night.

Harrison County Health Department Director Courtney Cross and health care professionals Cassie Deskins and Tami Easton all spoke in favor of the recommendation of the mask mandate. They pointed to the source control benefits and extra protections that would come with such a plan. Board member Terry Daniel went ahead and made a motion for the mask mandate in buildings and on school transportation vehicles where social distancing could not be practiced, but the motion died due to the lack of a second. Some board members explained their hesitancy to such a mandate by saying that based on feedback that they have received, there would be more students likely to attend in-person classes at the school without the mask mandate than with such a mandate. There were also concerns regarding enforcement of the practice of such a mandate. The vote to allow the unamended Re-Entry Plan was 6-1. Terry Daniel was the only dissenting vote.

The South Harrison Re-Entry Plan states that students can bring and wear a mask if desired. It also notes that wearing masks is highly recommended by both the CDC and the Missouri Department of Health.

Superintendent Dennis Eastin also told board members that water bottles will still be allowed, but food or drink will be discouraged on school transportation vehicles. There will be water access availability in every classroom. The full South Harrison Re-Entry Plan can be found on the South Harrison School District’s website.

South Harrison School Board members also approved their tax rate at the meeting. The tax rate will be $4.1745 per $100 dollars o assessed valuation. Of that levy, $3.77 will go to the incidental fund. 40 cents will go to the capital projects fund.