Colville School District board reinstates mask mandate

generic mask photo

COLVILLE, Wash. – The Colville School District Board voted Friday to re-instate its mask mandate for students. 

Last week, the board voted to make masks optional, directly defying the state’s mandate. 

The board moved to again require masks again following conversations with State Superintendent Chris Reykdal, the Department of Labor and Industries, district administration and legal counsel. 

The Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction has maintained that districts must comply with state masking requirements or face consequences like fines or losing state funding. 

The Colville School District said they were faced with a $70,000 fine per violation should they continue not requiring masks. 

“Recurring findings over the next 3 weeks could be financially devastating to our schools,” Superintendent Steve Fisk said in a letter to families. “I know this is not the news that any of us wanted to hear. At this time, more than any other, we need to join together to work through this challenge.” 

The district will reinstate its mask mandate starting February 28. It will be in place until the state lifts its indoor mask mandate on March 21. 

RELATED: Kettle Falls School Board votest to comply with state mask mandate

RELATED: ‘Stop bullying our children’: Washington lawmakers outraged over Kettle Falls School District shutdown