Locust Valley School Board vows to fight state school mask mandate

The Locust Valley School Board is not backing down in fighting the state Health Department's mask mandate. The board voted against revising its reopening plan to include the state's requirement that all students, staff, and guests wear face covering.
In addition, the board also voted to hire a law firm to file litigation against New York over the mandate. The resolution passed unanimously.
However, the Locust Valley superintendent recommended that the district follows the state regulation and warned that the district could face fines or potential closing of the school. Board members said they agree with the community and will continue to fight.
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 The superintendent also said their lawyers advised them the state's emergency regulations have the same requirements as law. However, many attending the board meeting in the audience disagreed and said the state Health Department's mask mandate was not the same as the law.

The district was one of only a handful of districts planning to make masks optional before the state health department stepped in.
Last night after the meeting, the school board released a statement saying "This evening the Board acted on the School Reopening Plan. Following the Board meeting, we were advised by legal counsel that the failure to adhere to the requirement that masks be required to be worn in school is a violation of the law. In light of our consultation with legal counsel, the Board will be reconvening for a Regular Meeting today, Tuesday, Aug. 31, at 4:30 p.m. in the Locust Valley HS/MS auditorium to discuss this matter further and make an additional determination concerning this requirement."