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Brown County School Board votes on mask mandate

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MT. STERLING, Ill. (WGEM) -- The Brown County School Board voted unanimously Thursday to mandate masks, and go back in line with the state.

This after the Illinois State Board of Education put the Brown County Community Unit School District 1 on probation Wednesday after members voted to defy Gov. J.B. Pritzker's mask mandate Monday.

The vote was met with cheering and clapping from a crowd of about 140 people.

During the meeting, that started at 6 p.m. and lasted until just after 9 p.m. in the high school auditorium, 27 people got up to speak, only four spoke against the mask mandate.

Board member John Eichelberger said he voted to make masks optional on Monday, but after hearing from parents, teachers and students, some who got emotional and even teary eyed, he said he changed his mind.

The superintendent said now that the school board has voted to comply with the state mask mandate, the district can avoid having to hold a conference with the Illinois State Board of Dducation, and can instead restore its position.

However, the district still must provide ISBE with concrete ways it will do that within 60 days.

Charity Bell

Multimedia Journalist at WGEM

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