Suburban schools scrap mask requirements following bipartisan committee vote

There were some minor conflicts in Naperville District 203, on the first day that the district went mask optional. 

Now that Illinois’ Joint Committee on Administrative Rules voted to suspend the mask policy, all districts can make their own decisions.

State Senator Sue Rezin (R-Morris) said the committee decided Governor JB Pritzker overstepped his authority when he issued an executive order requiring masks be worn in schools. Rezin said the vote means, "Each school district will be in charge of their own policy based on the data, and what they determine is best for the children."

In District 203, masks are recommended but not required. The new policy started Tuesday, a result of the ruling a downstate judge made, granting a temporary restraining order that challenged Governor Pritzker's authority to issue a mask mandate for schools. 


There have been walkouts and protests over the issue around the state. 

At Naper Elementary, some parents and grandparents say younger children will continue to mask up.

A spokesman for District 203, Alex Mayster, said the first day went fairly well. In a district of 22 schools, there are going to be minor incidents every day. Mayster said, "The majority of students and staff kept masks on. Our staff has been amazing through this whole thing, adjusting to changes, keeping students safe while they get a quality education."

District officials acknowledge the changes can be confusing. They are working with a legal team to keep families informed and safe.