Board of education unanimously votes to keep COVID-19 precautions in place

Kansas

VALLEY CENTER, Kan. (KSNW) – Staying with the status quo, Kansas’ Valley Center Schools USD 262 will be keeping their COVID protocols in place, despite a parent’s complaint.

The school board met Thursday night for a quick and unanimous vote in favor of keeping masks and social distancing in place.

“This last year has been a disaster for the kids, and I guess they don’t realize how much it’s affecting them. They don’t realize how much the kids don’t want it, the parents don’t want it, the teachers don’t want it,” said Richard Ranzau, USD 262 parent.

Former Sedgwick County Commissioner Ranzau is the reason for the vote. He filed a complaint under Senate Bill 40. Ranzau believed his son was aggrieved by the current restrictions in the district. He asked the district to get rid of the precautions.

“It’s obvious there’s two sides to this, and I think no matter what decision the board made, some people will be happy, some not,” said Dr. Cory Gibson, Superintendent for USD 262.

The board said they believed these precautions would best allow students to stay in school and avoid quarantines. They did agree on making three slight modifications.

“Pre-kindergarten can have some flexibility in the classroom, at sporting events when spectators are there, and if they social distance in the stands, no masks are required for sports in accordance to KSHSAA,” said Dr. Gibson. “The last one a lot of our staff are vaccinated and sometimes have meetings occurring and so forth. If there’s no students there and no visitors, masks can come off if they can maintain six feet distance.”

While the vote was not in Ranzau’s favor, he says he is not giving up.

“We still have rights under (Senate Bill) 40 to ask for additional hearings, we have the right to go to court and we’ll have to see what we do moving forward.”

Dr. Gibson believes it’s possible more parents may come forward with complaints because of this bill.

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