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VPSB to Decide COVID-19 Policies for Back to School

Attorney for Vermilion Parish School Board resigns
Posted at 3:18 PM, Jul 22, 2021

Committees have agreed Covid policies should be updated heading into the 2021 school year.

At 6 on Thursday at the Vermilion Parish School Board office, the board will vote on what they believe is the safest and smartest way to send kids back to school.

"We're not going to be in the business of are you vacinned, are you not vaccined. I don't feel like that's the public schools' place. I feel like we have to do what we can with the guidelines that we're given," says Superintendent Tommy Byler.

While the school board doesn't want to overstep students' health and well-being isn't taken lightly. Byler says he's heard parent concerns from every angle.

"I would think it would be really up to the parents to decide that for their own child," says Jean Devalcourt, a grandparent to students in the schools.

If older students would like, grades 6 through 12 will continue to have an option to learn virtually this year. For guidelines in the schools, the board will adhere directly to rules from the cdc and local officials.

"Federal mandate says we're wearing masks on public transportation. We're wearing masks on the bus. That's a mandate. The CDC has a recommendation or suggestion to wear a mask. That's what it is going to be. A recommendation or suggestion. It's not mandated. Quarantining is mandated. So our policy tonight is we're following the letter of the law," says Byler.

Thursday is the official vote for district policy, but depending on covid numbers, it isn't exactly set in stone.

"I'll be really surprised if between now and august 11 I don't have new guidance. With the spike and the news you hear now, we're going to have a policy in place July 22 but if that's the policy August 11, that remains to be seen," says Byler, adding that if state or federal guidelines change, the schools will follow suit.