On January 24, 2022, Justice Thomas Rademacher, a State Supreme Court judge in Nassau County, ruled that Governor Kathy Hochul’s statewide mandate ordering students and staff in public and private schools to wear masks while indoors is unconstitutional and can no longer be enforced. The Governor has indicated that her administration will seek an immediate appeal of this decision. Meanwhile, the State Education Department insists that the mask mandate is still in effect. No doubt this is going to lead to much confusion in schools across the state Tuesday morning.
Since March 2020, when the world first learned of the novel Coronavirus, the Lima Christian School Board and its administration have strived to implement health policies and procedures that would protect our students, faculty, and staff from COVID-19 exposure. Our cleaning procedures and physical distancing policies, for example, have exceeded both CDC and state guidance. With gratitude to the Lord for His wisdom, leading and protection, Lima Christian School has had minimal COVID-19 transmission on school grounds and been able to maintain in-person instruction when many others could not.
Lima Christian School’s policy regarding the use of face masks is:
Health permitting and regardless of vaccination status, all school personnel and on-campus students will be required to wear face masks when physical distancing cannot be maintained and in common areas. School personnel and students will not be required to wear a face mask when appropriate physical distancing can be maintained during instructional times.
For the moment, this policy remains unchanged. It was not created by state mandate, and it remains undissolved by any court action. Lima Christian’s medical and administrative staff maintain communication with the local health department. We are hopeful that as COVID-19 rates drop within our region that these policies can soon be a thing of the past.
While we know that many are growing weary of these protocols, we urge patience toward one another. Philippians 2:3-4 challenges the follower of Jesus Christ to “Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.” Thank you for helping us put others first. When the lessons of this pandemic are long behind us, it is our hope that the lessons of Christian love toward one another will long be remembered.