Going forward, La Salle-Peru High School will send students who refuse to wear a mask home and mark them as unjustified absences.
The high school board decided on Sunday to continue to follow state rules on mask-wearing, following last week’s restraining order from Sangamon County Circuit Court Judge Raylene Grischow , which prevented nearly 170 school districts named in Greenville attorney Thomas DeVore’s lawsuit from enforcing mask requirements, among other things.
LP was not named in the litigation. The majority of La Salle County school districts followed the same path as LP, per state rules.
For two days, Superintendent Steven Wrobleski said the school has been assigning students refusing to wear a mask in the auditorium with computer access to their classes. Wrobleski said the school does not have the human resources available to supervise students in the auditorium.
“This was an interim decision until the administration is able to determine the best course of action to handle this situation,” Wrobleski said.
The school district suspended 16 students on Monday — the first day of classes after Sangamon County’s decision — who refused to wear masks. He said those social suspensions and probations were overturned.
“I thought they were ultimately too harsh as an immediate punishment,” Wrobleski said. “Over the past two days, the administration has met to address and determine the most appropriate disciplinary consequence for students refusing to wear a mask.”
Students will not have access to Google Meets when they are sent home after refusing to wear a mask. Consequences will follow the manual regarding procedures for unexcused absences (as they add up for a student).
After all 16 students refused to wear a mask on Monday, Wrobleski said nine chose not to wear one on Tuesday and 18 on Wednesday out of an enrollment of 1,250.
“The district recognizes that there is significant disagreement with the court’s decision last Friday as well as the governor’s announcement (Wednesday),” Wrobleski said, referring to Governor JB Pritzker’s announcement to keep the port. masks in all schools. “All we ask is that everyone be patient and adhere to our current protocols until the courts finalize the appeal and/or the governor provides more specific details on the return of the mask for the schools.”
Wrobleski said he will continue to provide updates to the LP community on its mask protocols and how the school is using its federal COVID money.
“I have read significant misinformation on social media, with some claiming that LP is maintaining our COVID mitigation protocols in order to keep the $3.2 million we are receiving in federal funds,” Wrobleski said. “I will say here that this information is false.”