Ongoing Mask Mandate

Ongoing Mask Mandate
Posted on 10/04/2021
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There has been some confusion regarding the mask mandate enacted by the Health Department of Northwest Michigan on August 27, 2021 and the budget just signed by Governor Whitmer last week, as well as what this all means for masks in the Bellaire Public Schools. This post hopefully clarifies our current situation.

The order issued by the Health Department of Northwest Michigan on August 27, 2021 (see below) remains in effect. The budget passed last week does not, according to the transmittal letter from the Governor's office (see below), negate or nullify this language. This is not my interpretation or the Board’s interpretation: this is the information that we have received from the State of Michigan, and we have no choice but to comply and enforce the order as written.

Failure on my part to enforce this legal mandate from the Health Department can have serious consequences for the district, including the potential loss of governmental immunity afforded to schools, and the potential loss of liability insurance coverage for the district.

Moreover, this opens the district, the Board, and me personally to lawsuits for “gross negligence” should someone actually get sick or die as the result of COVID-19 due to exposure at school. More than that, I would be in violation of my contract for working against the best interests of the districts, its students and its staff, and I will not do that.

If you have questions, comments or concerns, I strongly recommend contacting the Health Department of Northwest Michigan at (800) 432-4121.

Thank you for your time and for your attention in this matter.

Warm Regards,

Mark J. Brenton, Superintendent

Public Health Order (8/27/21) 

Transmittal Letter (9/29/21)