Kettering Superintendent recommends masks in the classroom if there is no social distancing

KETTERING — Correction: Ahead of Tuesday night’s meeting, WHIO reported Kettering’s superintendent had already planned to recommend masking in schools. That was incorrect. Superintendent Scott Inskeep said he would make a recommendation during the meeting, but he did not specify what that recommendation would be.

Kettering City Schools Superintendent Scott Inskeep recommended the district adopt a mask mandate for students while in the classroom, within three-feet of one another.

The policy will take effect next week.

Inskeep cited a rise in COVID-19 quarantines in making the recommendation – noting the district, as of Friday, had quarantined 50 students already under Public Health Dayton-Montgomery County criteria.

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“What we’re trying to do is simply have this mask so that we don’t have to quarantine kids,” Inskeep said.

The announcement came after dozens of parents, along with some students, spoke about mask requirements.

Numerous parents denounced mask requirements. Multiple families threatened to pull their students out of Kettering City Schools if the district instituted a mask mandate.

“We have put these kids through enough. Choice is what I’m demanding,” one parents said.

Others – including two high school students – spoke in support of masks.

“I want to have a normal senior year,” one Fairmont High School student said. “Is a mask on your face to much to ask?”

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Ultimately, Inskeep said the district wants to avoid having to quarantine a large number of students, and have those students miss class time.

“I truly want our children in school,” he said.

The district plans to re-evaluate the policy in six weeks.