The local school board members in the small town of Floyd, New Mexico, are being threatened to lose their seats if they do not adhere to the state’s Public Education Department’s policies.
The Democrat governor of New Mexico, Michelle Lujan Grishman, threatened to remove all board members for voting to not require masks for the 2021-2022 school year. This goes against the state’s current health mandates.
At the board’s July 26 meeting, they voted to leave masking up to the choice of the individual and family and leave social distancing rules to the teachers. They also voted to end temperature checks for staff and students.
According to Daily Wire, local board member Leon Nall said, “Every school I’ve talked to supports me,” Nall said, adding that other schools just are not yet willing to “put their name on the chopping block like Floyd schools.” He added that there are several school boards and administrators across the state who’ve had enough with the Governor’s mandates.
Floyd has about 100 residents but pulls kids into the district from neighboring rural towns. They have about 225 kids in K-12, and their average class size is only about 12 students. The district noticed last year that several families pulled their kids out to other districts or private schools. Part of their desire for the new guidelines is in hopes they attract students back. Floyd schools have said they will include virtual learning accommodations for anyone nervous about their relaxed guidelines.
The PED minimum requirements of each district are that all students, staff, and volunteers are required to wear masks indoors and on busses for elementary school. For middle and high school, fully vaccinated students, staff, and volunteers who provide documentation do not have to wear masks. Anyone unvaccinated or who does not provide proof is required to mask indoors and on busses.
The state Public Education Department (PED) sent a letter to the school board on July 27 stating, “By noon on Tuesday, August 3, 2021, the board must take official action at a public meeting to rescind the actions listed above and/or to adopt a course of action that conforms to the published health and safety requirements. “A failure by the board to provide written confirmation of a vote rescinding the offending course of action and/or adopting a course of action that conforms to the published health and safety requirements by noon on Tuesday, August 3, 2021, or any further violations of COVID-Safe Practices, could result in adverse licensure actions against licensed individuals, suspension of school board governance, and other applicable enforcement actions.”
The school board will have one more meeting before the deadline to vote whether they will stand their ground or align their requirements with the state mandates. According to Nall, “It’s the most important board meeting of Floyd Schools.”
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