Parents, students protests masks at school in Greenville

The county legislature late Wednesday drafted a letter to ask Gov. Hochul to lift the mask mandate in Greene County schools. They’ll deliver it to the governor’s office Thursday.

This comes after an all-day protest in the center of Greenville. It lasted for hours, causing major traffic issues for some time. A major intersection in the town was blocked off by an 18-wheeler as the “no more masks in schools” protest continued. There was a long line of cars in every direction waiting to get by.

This protest was put on by parents and students of Greenville schools after the district put out a notice Tuesday night saying all students in grades six through 12 are shifting to remote learning because more than 50 students showed up to school both Monday and Tuesday with no mask on.

It’s been an emotional week for the town, starting with a board of education gathering Monday night.

“I think this was an exceptional time, and we needed to be there to listen and respond,” said Jay Goodman, the Greenville Board of Education vice president, in an interview Wednesday night.

Goodman and Board of Education President Tracey Young say the mask mandate is essentially the law right now, and if they don’t follow it, the district risks losing millions of dollars in state aid.

“There are significant things at stake,” Young said Wednesday night.

“We’re a small community, and I’m confident that we will get through this,” she added. “We are Americans, and I’m really proud that we have the ability to share our thoughts. Now let’s do it constructively and respectfully.”

One change that may come of this is that board of education members are considering changing the format of some meetings to give people in the Greenville community more of an opportunity to share their thoughts.

NewsChannel 13 reached out to the interim superintendent for the district on Wednesday. The response was the same letter that went out to parents last night, alerting them of the remote learning plan.