Saratoga Springs Police Respond to Confusion Over Elementary School Mask Mandate – The Daily Gazette


SARATOGA SPRINGS — Recent developments in the statewide indoor face mask mandate sparked concern at an elementary school in the city that prompted a police response.

After a day of confusion, face masks were back in schools across the state on Wednesday, after an appeals judge reinstated New York’s mask order the day before.

On Monday, a lower court judge ruled that Gov. Kathy Hochul’s administration lacks the authority to require people to wear masks indoors during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Local concern centered on posts made to the Moving Saratoga Forward Facebook group regarding court developments.

The Facebook group slammed a teacher at Caroline Street Elementary School who gave a student a mask to wear.

The post on the group claimed the teacher had dragged “any student who walks into the office without a mask, making them cry”.

Police said in a statement that the allegation could not be substantiated.

The school then received phone calls which prompted a response from the police.

“Based on our investigation of the incident, it has been determined that: the phone calls were made by an individual who did not identify themselves; this individual, to the best of our knowledge, has no direct connection to the school community and was reacting to a social media post,” the police statement read.

“At the end of the investigation, it was determined that we were unable to substantiate the allegations as presented on social media,” police continued.

“Although the calls were of no avail and their content questionable, they did not rise to a criminal level,” police said.

“The Saratoga Springs Police Department stands in solidarity with the Saratoga Springs School District in support of a safe and welcoming environment in all schools.”

Caroline Street Elementary School Principal Daniel Packard said in the statement:

“It is important for our school district to address the misinformation shared on social media regarding an interaction that occurred yesterday morning at Caroline Street Elementary School. A student not wearing a face mask was walking down the hall yesterday morning and a member of staff reminded the student to wear a mask. Given the previous day’s court ruling regarding masks, the student felt that masks were no longer necessary. The teacher went to the office with the child to find out if the mask policy had changed. The main office informed the teacher and the student that the masks were still required by the NYSED (New York State Department of Education). The staff then provided the child with a mask. The staff member was professional and courteous throughout this interaction and followed all school protocols. »

Packard’s statement went on to ask staff, parents and students to “be patient and work with us as these legal issues are resolved at the state level.”

The Moving Saratoga Forward Facebook group, which bills itself as a forum for news, politics, opinion and culture, included a statement from U.S. Representative Elise Stefanik, which read, “Any parent or student who is told that he cannot go to school in his district if he is not wearing a mask should contact my office.

Stefanik, a member of the House Education and Labor Committee, also said his office receives calls from parents whose children inform them that their children are being barred from school for not wearing masks. .

Contact journalist Brian Lee at [email protected] or 518-419-9766.

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