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Board meeting canceled from lack of quorum

Styers: Future meetings to be held via Zoom only to avoid violating mask order

LEWISTOWN — Mifflin County School District’s Board of Directors meeting was canceled on Thursday due to a lack of quorum.

Four of the board’s nine members met via Zoom briefly, following a 20-minute executive session, to announce that the video call was held because a board member or members stated they would not wear a mask at any future board meetings.

“That in and of itself would be a violation of the mandate we are currently under,” Terry Styers, the board’s chairman, said during the call, which was just less than three minutes long.

Styers continued, explaining that the state began issuing warnings to school district not in compliance with the mandate on Sept. 8.

“If a board member or members refuse to comply, then I would not call the meeting to order and nothing would get accomplished that evening,” he said. “To ignore the fact that board members are not in compliance would put the Mifflin County School District in violation and subject to penalty … part of my responsibility as the board president, along with the advice of our solicitor, is to keep our school district out of liability and litigation.

“Taking into consideration that a board member or members would not be adhering to the mandate– along with many people in attendance — I believe it would be in the best interest of all concerned that we go to a Zoom meeting. That eliminates the need to address all those who are not wearing masks.”

Styers explained that residents participating virtually would still have the opportunity to comment publicly.

Board members present at the meeting were Julie Maidens, Kristen Sharp, Mary Lou Sigler and Styers.

Those not present were John Knepp, Beth Laughlin, Frederick Nickel, Michelle Terry and Noah Wise.

At least five of the board’s nine members must be present in order to have a quorum, per the board’s published policy.

“We apologize for any inconvenience,” Styers said.

At the board’s last meeting in August, the board voted 6-3 to not require students and staff to adhere to mask guidelines put in place by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The board’s vote was made just days prior to the Pennsylvania Department of Health’s mask mandate, which superseded the board’s decision.

The next board meeting is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Sept. 23 via Zoom. To register, visit the Mifflin County School District’s website (www.mcsdk12.org) prior to the meeting.

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