OWR Statement on Tomahawk School Board Decision on Mask Mandate

Sept 14th, 2021

The state board of Our Wisconsin Revolution(OWR) would like to share our disapproval of the recent controversy that led to the Tomahawk School District’s reversal of a planned masked mandate for its students and the resignation of a pro mask administrator that followed this decision. The wearing of masks remains a critical public health measure to help prevent the spread of the SARS-Cov-2 virus that causes COVID-19 infection. The enforcement of masks is sound policy, supported by numerous clinical studies, public health agencies in the United States such as the CDC and NIH and international organizations such as the WHO. The decision to rescind the mask mandate puts students, teachers, and other school staff who may have a variety of medical issues as well as individuals without known medical problems at risk. Wearing masks provides both source control of infected individuals and confers reduced risk to those not infected through protection. In the absence of regular COVID-19 testing, and in the incompletely vaccinated communities the Tomahawk School District is in, requiring masking should not be controversial, but common sense.

 Children who attend Tomahawk schools should not become casualties of the far-reaching politicization of masks, vaccines and social distancing we continue to see in this country. Already we have seen 13 school staff die in Florida and multiple students in other states during the short period school has been in session from COVID-19.  OWR calls on the Tomahawk School Board to resist calls by some in the community to recall board members who support masks and resume the initial plan for a mask mandate. The freedom of children and educators to not become infected from COVID-19 is more important than yielding to the reckless demands of community members who put their “freedom” above the health of kids. Students and staff need to live to have freedom.

Richard McGowan MD

OWR State Board