Democratic New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham is threatening to remove the board of a small, rural school for going against state health mandates and refusing to require masks in schools in the upcoming school year.
The board of Floyd Municipal Schools voted July 26 against requiring masking, leaving the choice up to the individual student and his parents. The school board also decided to leave social distancing rules up to the discretion of the teachers and to end temperature checks for students and staff.
School board member Leon Nall told The Daily Wire that school administrators and boards across New Mexico are fed up with Lujan Grisham’s health mandates. “Every school I’ve talked to supports me,” Nall said, adding that other schools just are not yet willing to “put their name on the chopping block like Floyd schools.”
Floyd is a small, rural town of approximately 100 people located in eastern New Mexico. The school system itself serves about double that number as the school pulls students from the area’s farmers, ranchers, and others living outside the town’s limits. The school educates roughly 225 students from kindergarten through high school each year.
The state Public Education Department (PED) sent Floyd school board a letter on July 27, the day after the board approved its health policies, threatening to strip each board member of his position unless the policies were brought in line with PED requirements for the upcoming school year.
“As you are aware, the actions above are inconsistent with the requirements put forward by the Public Education Department, in line with guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and/or guidance from the American Academy of Pediatrics, to protect the health and safety of staff and students, and to ensure continued access to in-person learning that is not disrupted by the spread of the COVID-19 virus,” the memo said, according to a copy obtained by The Daily Wire.
“By noon on Tuesday, August 3, 2021, the board must take official action at a public meeting to rescind the actions listed above and/or to adopt a course of action that conforms to the published health and safety requirements,” it continued.
“A failure by the board to provide written confirmation of a vote rescinding the offending course of action and/or adopting a course of action that conforms to the published health and safety requirements by noon on Tuesday, August 3, 2021, or any further violations of COVID-Safe Practices, could result in adverse licensure actions against licensed individuals, suspension of school board governance, and other applicable enforcement actions,” the memo concluded. “Any punitive actions by the board against the Superintendent, other administrators, or school or district staff for following COVID-Safe Practices may result in immediate suspension of school board governance. Furthermore, the District will be subject to ongoing monitoring and site visits to ensure compliance with health protocols.”
The Floyd school board is scheduled to have another meeting on Monday evening over the threats from the New Mexico PED. The board will vote to either scrap its health policies in favor of the states or stand firm and risk being removed from office and school administration potentially turned over by the state government.
“It’s the most important board meeting of Floyd Schools,” Nall told The Daily Wire.