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Mon, May 10

Mask mandate lifted for Camp Verde schools

Camp Verde School Board Member Bob Simbric said Wednesday that each day he hears “both sides” of the mask debate. “Wear a mask, or don’t wear a mask,” he said. “That’s what’s going on in society right now.” VVN file photo/Bill Helm

Camp Verde School Board Member Bob Simbric said Wednesday that each day he hears “both sides” of the mask debate. “Wear a mask, or don’t wear a mask,” he said. “That’s what’s going on in society right now.” VVN file photo/Bill Helm

CAMP VERDE — Wednesday, the Camp Verde School Board voted 3-to-2 to rescind the mask mandate and temperature checks for the district’s students, staff and visitors.

Board members Carol German, Tim Roth and Bob Simbric voted yes. Board members Thomasene Cardona and Helen Freeman voted no.

Before the board’s vote, Simbric told his fellow board members that he was “torn between the two” options.

“Wear a mask, or don’t wear a mask,” he said. “That’s what’s going on in society right now. I hear both sides every day. (However), I hear more people say ‘let my kid be unmuzzled.’”

Although she voted against the motion to rescind the mandate, Cardona said the process was akin to “being a voice for the student.”

“Our hope is that we’re looking at this more seriously, to not just make or help people be comfortable,” Cardona said.

The board’s decision, Superintendent Danny Howe said following Wednesday’s meeting, takes effect on Thursday, April 29.

“Starting tomorrow, masks are optional and may still be worn,” Howe said in his electronic (robo) call Wednesday to the district’s families and staff.

Before the board’s decision, Camp Verde’s students, staff and visitors had been required to wear masks since the district reopened its campuses in August.

Howe finished his robo call with a quote he attributed to an unknown author.

“We have a chance to do something extraordinary,” Howe shared. “As we head out of this pandemic, we can change the world. Create a world of kindness. A world where we are kind to each other. A world where we are kind no matter what class, race, religion or job we have. Let kindness be our roadmap.”

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