Parent asks Corbin BOE to remove mask mandate at Thursday meeting

September 14 – CORBIN – Ahead of the announcement of the end of the Kentucky School Mask term, members of the Corbin School Board heard from a concerned parent. Melinda Fox, a mother of children from the Corbin Independent School District, expressed concerns to board members on Thursday over the mask’s current mandate, which was issued by the Kentucky Board of Education in August.

“Hi, my name is Melinda Fox and I come on behalf of my two sons and anyone who still believes in their freedom to choose, especially what is best for their own children,” Fox said. “With all due respect, I thought it was the Corbin School Board and not the Whitley County Health Department, but it looks like you decided to go beyond the recommendations. of the health department and define your own mandate for placing medical devices on our children. “

During his speech, Fox displayed photographs of a box of face masks stating that they “do not provide any protection against COVID-19,” a voice clip from Dr.Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of allergies and infectious diseases, and read an excerpt from the Mayo Clinic on COVID-19 in children for board members as she discussed the “unintended consequences” of wearing masks by children, including the sharing masks with other children or touching their masks with germs on their hands.

“Also, are you prepared to take responsibility for the possible adverse effects this may have on our children?” ” she asked. “For example, the negative effect of wearing a mask on a child in speech therapy, as children use the mouth and face as a tool to learn new words. Wearing masks around children reduces their ability to learn from auditory and visual cues, which influence speech and language learning – how damaging our children are. “

Fox said that while she understands the pressure on board members to make these decisions, she believes it is not their job to “mandate medical devices.”

“You are the superintendent and you are the board members, you have to focus on educating our students,” she said. “So, please, for the democracy and freedom that this country was founded on, please lift this mask mandate. Let parents decide what is best for their children and whether or not they want to placing medical devices on their children’s faces in order to receive free and appropriate in-person education. ”

Board chair Kim Croley thanked Fox for coming to the board with her concerns before reminding her that the school district could not change the current mandate for the mask that was put in place by the Kentucky Board of Education in August after Governor Andy Beshear rescinded his term as a school mask following a state Supreme Court ruling impacting his executive authority.

“Well, my question is, who made that decision on the Kentucky State Board of Directors?” Fox asked.

“The Kentucky Board of Education made this decision – they’re a council,” Croley replied.

“So you have nothing to do with this?” Fox asked.

“We’re not allowed to override something the Kentucky Board of Education has done – we’re governed by them,” Croley said.

“OK, so you don’t make any recommendations, you don’t vote?” Fox asked.

“We’re not going to change anything today because we can’t until the Kentucky Board of Education rule is overturned, which has not yet been done,” Croley said, adding that the council would reconsider the mask policy in the district once a decision is made. made by lawmakers on Senate Bill 1, which would end the school mask statewide mandate.

After last week’s decision, independent schools in Corbin, like other districts in the state, will now have to determine their own mask policy.

In other news from Corbin’s Education Council:

– At a special Corbin Independent School District Finance Corporation meeting held just before Thursday’s education council meeting, members approved a resolution that allows the district to refinance itself on a $ 20 bond. years issued in 2011 the high school.

Dr. Robert Tarvin of Ross, Sinclaire & Associates was on hand to answer questions from members of the Board of Directors. He said this refinancing would not extend the term of the bond and would be repaid in 2031.

“Long story short, we’re refinancing, like you would a house, and we’re saving money – I think that’s a good thing, isn’t it? Croley asked.

-The board also discussed tax rates for the 2021-22 school year.

“The state gives us our tax rates in our school district, it’s a percentage formula that’s really hard to figure out,” Cox said. “If contributions go up, the tax rate goes down and vice versa.”

Cox said property assessments have increased in the district and as a result, he recommended board members reduce the property tax rate. Last year, the property tax was 69.3 cents per $ 100 of assessed value and council recommends that the district lower it to 68.5 cents per $ 100 of assessed value.

“Based on the strike going on in the community right now, the problem of jobless people and things like that, the board expressed to me that they wished it would stay as close to a zero gain or loss we might, ”Cox said. “So to give you some real-world examples, if a person has a contribution of $ 100,000, then they paid $ 693 in tax last year, this year they will pay $ 685.”

Cox said he recommended that council vote to keep tangible personal property at the same rate as last year at 69.9 cents per $ 100 of valuation.

The board of trustees will set this year’s tax rates at a special meeting called on October 1 at the office of the board of trustees for education.

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