NewsCovering Louisiana


BESE meeting adjourned as audience refuses to wear masks

BESE meeting masks
Posted at 7:40 AM, Aug 18, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-18 13:23:56-04

After a very rowdy start to the Louisiana State Board of Elementary and Secondary Education meeting on Wednesday, the board voted to adjourn.

The board voted 8 - 2 to end the meeting early as audience members would not comply with masking rules for indoor settings, as part of the Governor's mandate.

Outburst from those gathered were frequent as board members discussed other items on the agenda. The meeting was stopped several times due to the crowd in attendance.

The board was set to discuss whether schools systems could make their own decision on masking for students.

Video of the meeting is below:

Governor John Bel Edwards issued an indoor mask mandate for Louisiana on August 2. The temporary mandate calls for individuals ages five and older to be masked while in indoor public spaces. This includes K-12 schools, universities, and other higher education institutions.

The mandate is in place until September 1.

In July, before the mask mandate was issued, BESE Board president Sandy Halloway said that the board was in agreement that the decision on masking would be left to the state's 69 school districts.

"Decisions regarding masking and other prevention measures were granted to Louisiana's local school systems to have authority to develop COVID-19 policies appropriate for their communities," Holloway said.

Following the governor's mandate, school districts in Acadiana announced that they would be following the order and requiring masks for students.

Read More: Acadiana Schools: Updates to COVID plans

View the live stream of the BESE Board meeting, here.

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