Members of the School Administrative District 17 board vote Monday night in Paris to immediately make face masks optional. The mandate had been in place since the COVID-19 pandemic hit Maine in 2020. Nicole Carter/Advertiser Democrat

PARIS — Directors of School Administrative District 17 voted unanimously Monday night to immediately make face masks optional.

Oxford Hills Education Association President Jeni Jordan said in a statement a survey of educators showed 75% were in favor of making mask optional and 25% were not. About 64% of members responded to the survey.

During public comment several people spoke against the mask mandate, saying it violated their rights, it wasn’t applied consistently because adults could share meals without distancing but students could not, and the public had been bombarded with false news about the danger of COVID-19.

In other business, acting Superintendent Heather Manchester said Budget Committee meetings began March 2. Committee Chairman Robert Jewell of Paris said they will be held Wednesdays and are open to the public.

Manchester also announced that parent/student/teacher conferences will be held Thursday, March 17. Parents will be given Zoom and in-person options for meetings.

Friday, March 18, will be a staff workshop day.

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