Last week, Valparaiso Councilman Robert Cotton, (D-2nd), who was among many who were refused entry to the VCS School Board meeting, proposed at the monthly Valparaiso City Council Meeting "full support to the Valparaiso Community Schools Board of Education and Superintendent of Schools as they navigate the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic." The Chicago Tribune also reports, "he had recommended to the superintendent and school board members earlier the option of moving the meeting to a larger location given the expected attendance, a suggestion based on feedback he had received from his own constituents." Read more about how this critical proposal impacts our community.
On Monday, August 23rd Valparaiso Councilman Robert Cotton (D-2nd) proposed to the council the following:
WHEREAS, new evidence regarding the increased transmission and spread of the COVID-19 B.1.617.2 (Delta) variant, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Indiana State Department of Public Health, and the Porter County Health Department have all recommended universal indoor masking for all teachers, staff, students, and visitors to K-12 schools, regardless of vaccination status.
WHEREAS, supporting this recommendation by public health professionals at the national, state and local levels is Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb who recently stated “I think the schools that are putting mask mandates into place are making a wise decision when the facts warrant it."
WHEREAS, under Indiana law and VCS Board policy, the Superintendent of Schools is responsible for providing leadership and management of the day-to-day operations of the school system;
WHEREAS, the Superintendent of Schools is responsible for providing leadership and management for the continued development, health, and safety of all students and employees, and does what is required to carry out those responsibilities at all times;
WHEREAS, the Superintendent and/or his or her designees are authorized to take reasonable and lawful measures to protect against personal injury and to regulate and restrict access to schools to maintain security, minimize disruption and distraction within the learning environment, and/or to avoid a risk of harm to a student or employee.
WHEREAS, the Superintendent is authorized to implement building-level requirements and procedures regarding access to Board-owned or controlled buildings, property, events, and activities to ensure the safety of students and employees.
WHEREAS, COVID-19 continues to impact our county and local community;
WHEREAS, the VCS Board has a strong desire to keep students and personnel safe while in school;
THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, BY THE UNDERSIGNED, that we proclaim on August 23, 2021, full support to the Valparaiso Community Schools Board of Education and Superintendent of Schools as they navigate the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, we support a decision to keep schools open for in-person learning when possible and further support the day-to-day operational and safety procedures the Superintendent may put in place to carry out this objective, including but not limited to universal indoor masking for all teachers, staff, students, and visitors to K-12 schools, regardless of vaccination status.
No support from any Councilperson was given to Robert Cotton (D-2nd).