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There are plenty of stories about school boards in Iowa not trusting parents when it comes to knowing what is best for their individual children. But that was not the case Thursday night in Gilbert.

The board in Gilbert voted unanimously to encourage — not mandate — masks. And the board extended its policy to buses.

According to reports, board president Andrew Ricklefs said individual families know what is best for their families. But, he added, if circumstances change and masks are necessary to be on-site, the board will require it without questions asked.

A number of students and parents — mostly against mandatory masking — attended the meeting. Ricklefs noted he hadn’t seen that many people — especially students — at a board meeting before.

“I attended the Gilbert CSD board meeting last night to see which way they would vote on mask mandates,” one parent wrote to The Iowa Standard. “I had emailed all the board members. We shared with them how we don’t want our kids to be masked again. Last night’s meeting was very emotional as a parent and then to see our young men and women showing up to have a voice and be heard. The school board heard and listened to our kids. They all voted no to the mask mandate!”

Author: Jacob Hall