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Dear Northern Tioga School District Residents,
On August 31, 2021, the Acting Secretary of Health of Pennsylvania issued a masking order for all public schools in Pennsylvania. Supporting her was Governor Wolfe and Secretary of Education Noe Ortega. All school entities must comply with and enforce the Order.
Superintendents are employees of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and before taking office must be sworn in by the Judge of the Court of Common Pleas. In that oath, I swore to uphold the laws of the state of Pennsylvania. Additionally, board members must also take an oath to uphold the laws of the Commonwealth.
Below are excerpts from a redacted letter sent to a school district that “is flagrantly violating and does not intend to comply with the Order”.
In addition, the following was issued today by the Acting Secretary of Education, Dr. Sherry Smith:
We were so excited to be back in school with our students and eager to begin a year of education. The excited faces of our children those first days were a delight to behold. The gratitude on the faces of staff who were so happy to be back with the children was affirming. Support staff is so happy to be cooking for hungry children, assisting with learning, and keeping our buildings clean. We have now been thrown into a controversy that was not of our making. We must obey the order.
I am asking each of you to please consider the difficult position in which the district finds itself and help us to work together to keep our students in school with their teachers and their friends. It is heartbreaking to be pitted against members of our valued communities. We are at our best when we are working together to provide a safe, caring, and healthy environment for every child who enters our doors.
Dr. Diana Barnes