APPLETON, Wis. (WFRV) – The Appleton School Board decided to extend their mask requirement until February 17th in the face of this latest covid surge in a six to one vote.

James Bacon, Appleton School Board Member said, “The overwhelming majority of our constituency is asking us to continue it which also seems like the prudent choice to offer consistency in our education system and prioritize the safety well being and education of our staff, students and community.”

The masking debate has brought out parents on both sides of the issue, some said it should be their choice if their child goes to school in a mask and others believe universal masking is necessary.

Andrea Klitzke, an Appleton parent against required masking said, “I’ve kinda accepted the fact that if you are not going to reverse masking you probably never will… seeing the mental health surge, I just can’t say it would be worth it for our kids.”

One Appleton mom said she wants masks to stay because masking has allowed students to stay in person.

Rachel Van Handel, an Appleton parent for universal masking said, “Especially now with the new variant which is so much more contagious I just think it would be silly to take away the one mitigation strategy that has allowed kids to stay in school.”

The school board says it will use the latest covid numbers before reconsidering the masking requirement on February 17th.