As schools across the state prepared to return with their face-coverings following Governor Tom Wolf's administration's new masking order from the Pennsylvania Department of Health, one Pennsylvania school district took a different approach.
In an email and Facebook post to their families and community, the Pennridge School District in Perkasie, Pa, introduced a new form and process for masks exemptions within their school district.
While the message, signed by School Board President Bill Krause and Vice President Joan Cullen, has been met with both praise and opposition, the Pennridge School District's letter points to a specific piece of writing from the state's requirements for masks:
"The Governor’s Order also provides that one may not be required to wear a mask if 'wearing a face covering would either cause a medical condition, or exacerbate an existing one, including respiratory issues that impede breathing, a mental health condition or a disability.'"
Pennridge is using the language from Governor Wolf's mandate to ask the question "who is the best judge of a student's mental health?"
"The Board believes that school districts should be locally controlled, and that parents are the best judge of their children's medical and mental well-being."
What also makes Pennridge's decision unique, is their mask exemption form only asks for a parent's signature.
"You are not required to provide a note from a physician or a psychologist along with this exemption request," the letter said.
In an earlier article by abc6, WPIV-TV Action News reached out to the state and were told by officials to "remind districts that if they don't follow the mask mandate, they could face penalties and lawsuits."