Schools clarify rules on masks after state Supreme Court determines executive orders unconstitutional

Posted at 4:02 PM, Oct 05, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-05 17:17:02-04

ROCKFORD, Mich. — The weekend has been a stressful one for leaders in education across the state as they begin to try to make sense of the confusion surrounding the Supreme Court's ruling on Gov. Gretchen Whitmer's executive orders.

The ruling came down Friday afternoon and deemed all of her executive orders issued after April 30 unconstitutional.

The superintendent for Rockford Public Schools, Dr. Mike Shibler, said as of right now, nothing has changed for the district's students.

“Do we have to wear a mask? Clearly, you have to wear a mask," Shibler said.

The state's "Return To Learn" plan, which all districts had to follow when creating their own plans for back to school in 2020, were later adopted by local school districts through their respective boards of education. The state plan required all kids grade 6 and above to wear masks at school.

For Rockford and Grand Rapids schools, they took things a step further than what the state outlined and required all kids regardless of age to come back to school while wearing masks.

“At this point, our COVID response plan, which was required to be approved by the board of education, currently mandates masks be worn by any students, staff and visitors in our building. That plan is still in effect,” Grand Rapids Public Schools spokesperson John Helmholdt said.

Changes to current plans require the approval of the school board.

“Right. Nothing has changed,” Shibler said.

"Regardless of the Supreme Court decision," Helmholdt said.