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Lodi High School students protest new district mask policy

Published: Sep. 20, 2021 at 6:14 PM CDT|Updated: Sep. 20, 2021 at 7:10 PM CDT
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LODI, Wis. (WMTV) - Day one of a district-wide mask mandate in Lodi schools started in protest.

About 25 high school students sat outside the building and refused to wear masks Monday.

This comes after the school board’s decision last Monday to extend their mask rule from 4K-6th grade, to all students through grade 12.

High school senior Preston Nichols and some of his fellow students are protesting the District of Lodi’s new mask policy.

“I don’t stand by that, and my mom doesn’t either,” Nichols said. It’s an opinion Nichols claims goes beyond the two dozen teens outside the building.

“There’s a majority of students still inside the school who stand by us, but like I said they don’t know how it’s going to affect them, so they’re inside wearing it,” Nichols said. “A lot of them were scared how it was going to impact them school wise and sports wise.”

“It’s looking at the best data we can get. So, for example, pulling together a medical advisory committee, I am not an epidemiologist, my board members aren’t either, so we reached out to doctors,” Lodi District Administrator Vince Breunig said.

Breunig said requiring masks inside was not an easy decision.

“The board will continue to look at all the info provided to them,” Breunig said. “We’re in a really difficult spot right now. People are really divided on this issue and the board ultimately is doing what they believe is in the best interest of all the students.”

Nichols said he and many of his fellow students aren’t against wearing a mask, but they’d like to have options. “When someone tells me to do something, I want to see a reason for it,” Nichols said. “And if there’s no reason and/or the reason isn’t good enough I just don’t see a point in wanting to do it.”

“We will continue our dialogue with our families and continue to support all of our students whether or not they’re in support of our policies masks,” Breunig said.

Right now, Breunig said students not wearing masks will be treated like students not following dress code. They will be removed from class and the school will notify the student’s parent or guardian.

Police were present at the middle and high schools to ensure a safe protest. Lodi’s Chief tells NBC15 everything was peaceful.

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