Mask debate gets heated at Guilderland school board meeting

Districts are holding meetings, discussing how to reopen safely come September.

A meeting in Guilderland got really heated this week. Some board members say they even received threats.

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School districts across New York didn’t receive guidance from the state Department of Health until Thursday.

As schools are about to open, the Guilderland Central School District wanted to make sure their students were safe. They decided to follow the CDC recommendations. Some parents are not happy.

Many parents who spoke at Tuesday night’s meeting say they did not want their kids to wear masks.

During the public comment period, there was shouting and arguing. Things got so bad, the board even had to adjourn the meeting for things to calm down. Once things calmed down, they resumed their meeting.

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Prior to the meeting, the board asked for police to be there just as a precaution. Some board members say they received email threats. School officials say they understand everyone’s concerns, but want to do what’s best for the safety of the children.

"Threats and shouting over each other, that’s just not how democracy works,” said Guilderland School Board President Seema Rivera. "I think we’re all here for kids first. We have to stop and think about why are we here at all. We’re here for kids. So shouting and making threats is not going to get anything done."

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Hear from the Guilderland Central School District superintendent on why she says the decision was made to require masks by watching the video of Jonathan Hunter’s story.