School district under fire for latest mandatory COVID-19 masking policy

A school district in New Jersey is taking heat after it reinstated mandatory masking for students, district employees and visitors to all district buildings.

“Please be advised that as per our Board Policy No. 5141.10, during periods of a High Activity Level as published in the NJDOH (New Jersey Department of Health) COVID-19 Activity Level Report, mask wearing is required,” Passaic Public Schools Superintendent Sandra Diodonet announced Tuesday in a letter shared on the district’s Twitter feed.

The announcement was on district letterhead, which included the socialist slogan “Forward!” in both English and Spanish.

The weekly COVID-19 case rate for the Northern New Jersey county is up 15 percent week-over-week, to 252 cases per 100,000 people or about 1,250 cases per week in a county of 500,000 such as Passaic, according to data provided by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).

That level qualifies as “high” for new COVID-19 case rates, said the NJDOH weekly COVID-19 activity report.

Still it’s well off the pace set last winter when the holidays saw cases increase to over 15,000  weekly in Passaic, according to the CDC. 

Last week New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy said he didn’t think that the state would reimpose state-wide mask mandates.

“We don’t want to mandate things that we can’t enforce, and I don’t think the market’s going to bear that,” Murphy said according to, recognizing that the general public is tired of mask mandates as both petty and ineffective

School choice evangelist, Corey DeAngelis, who is a senior fellow at the American Federation for Children and the executive director at Educational Freedom Institute, had a simple request for the Passaic District in light of the new masking mandate.

[D]elete your account,” DeAngelis tweeted in reply to the announcement by Superintendent Diodonet on Twitter.

“New Jersey government schools spend over $24,000 per student per year. Give that money directly to families so they can find alternatives,” added DeAngelis.

Masking has proven both controversial and ineffective in controlling the COVID-19 virus.

The largest study on masks found that surgical mask are effective if worn properly, but cloth face-coverings, as apparently required by the district’s letter, are not effective in stopping the spread of the virus

Included in the district’s COVID-19 protocols for district parents are just two requirements:

Face coverings must be worn in all district facilities. Ensure you are wearing the face mask over your nose and mouth and secured under your chin.

The protocols include no reference to surgical masks, which are designed for single-use only and cost over $1 per mask

Additionally, 94 percent of the population of Passaic over the age of 5 years old have had at least one COVID-19 vaccination, with 78 percent completing the primary series of vaccinations, according to data by the CDC.

Mandatory vaccinations were supposed to make masking unnecessary. But instead, government authorities seem intent on making the public endure endless rounds of masking and vaccinations, with no end in sight to the crisis atmosphere or the negative effects such policies have on kids.

“Just one [more] reason I homeschool now,” concluded one mother about the policy.