By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily
Pinedale schools are no longer requiring students, staff or board members to wear masks on any of their campuses.
Sublette County School District No. 1 posted on its social media site Sunday that the new rule would take effect on Monday. The district’s schools consist of the elementary, middle and high school in Pinedale.
“Simply stated, no student, staff member or visitor to the district will be required to wear a mask,” the district said.
Gov. Mark Gordon ended the statewide mask mandate on March 16, but his order continues to require the use of masks in public schools.
The decision by Sublette County school trustees to defy Gordon’s order was made during the district’s board of trustees meeting on March 11, when the board passed a motion to eliminate school SMART Start Plans and follow the minimum guidelines set by state public health officers.
However, the motion made an exception for health orders on masks in schools and lifted the requirements.
“The Board would also like to make it explicitly clear that this action does not prohibit wearing a mask by anyone who wishes to do so, and the Board expects all students, staff, parents and community members to respect everyone who chooses to do so,” the district said on social media.
Gordon said his decision to lift the public health orders in place for months reflected the state’s continually improving health metrics and is consistent with his approach of balancing public health with protecting livelihoods.
“I thank the people of Wyoming for their commitment to keeping one another safe throughout this pandemic,” Gordon said. “It is through their efforts that we have kept our schools and businesses operating and our economy moving forward. I ask all Wyoming citizens to continue to take personal responsibility for their actions and stay diligent as we look ahead to the warmer months and to the safe resumption of our traditional spring and summer activities.”