Douglas County School District Town Hall over COVID-19 plans gets noisy

This story first appeared in a Colorado Community Media newspaper. The Colorado Sun owns CCM.

A back-to-school town hall hosted by the Douglas County School District on Wednesday night quickly turned boisterous as district leaders attempted to describe district plans to mitigate COVID-19 this school year.

The crowd first erupted in boos when Superintendent Corey Wise displayed a slide indicating the district was recommending universal masking when school begins next week.

This opened a controversial meeting in which many attendees called for an end to pandemic precautions and refuted COVID-19 science, such as the validity of tests and the effectiveness of face coverings.

DCSD is among school districts in Metro Denver and beyond that have established branding policies and other rules to deal with the threat of COVID-19 as the new school year approaches. . And, frequently, these policies have encountered strong objections from many – some saying the rules go too far and others saying they don’t go far enough.

Some neighboring districts, such as Denver, Jeffco and Englewood, have announced requirements for masks to be worn in schools, while others, like the DCSD, are urging them to be used.

After the initial outcry at City Hall, Wise interrupted his presentation and stepped aside, waiting for members of the audience to shut up.

Some people shouted “child abuse! One of them shouted “it won’t happen” about the masks. Wise was also called a liar.

A woman shouted above the crowd “let’s listen to him” and the room quieted down shortly after.

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Daniel E. Murphy