OPS Students Will Have to Wear Masks When School Starts

Aug. 10, 2021, noon ·

Omaha Public Schools Superintendent Cheryl Logan
Omaha Public Schools Superintendent Cheryl Logan at Monday's board meeting. (Photo from live stream)

Students in Omaha Public Schools will have to wear masks to start the upcoming school year after a vote Monday night by school board members concerned about a spike in COVID cases. The OPS board voted 8-1 to require the masks, just two months after it lifted a similar mandate over the summer. Before the vote, board member Tracy Casady explained why she supported the mask mandate.

“We have to worry about our staff, we have to worry about our children,” Casady said. “This is not about us, this is not about what we like and what we don’t like, and for that reason I am going to vote for this resolution because there’s too many unknowns with this virus. There are to many ways that this can go.”

Board members also heard from a split public at the meeting, with some for and some against the mandate. Superintendent Cheryl Logan said it’s the district’s hope that it will be able to lift the mandate sooner rather than later, but for now, it’s in place.

“We are going to keep moving,” Logan said. “We all agree that we do have to learn to live with the virus and part of living with it is using a face covering so we can keep moving.”

There are 54,000 students in OPS and around 9,000 staff members. Board member Spencer Head was the only “no” vote at last night’s meeting. Classes begin August 18th.