September 25, 2020 – West Bend, WI – A note of clarification regarding face masks in the West Bend School District.
There was recently a post on social media about face masks that claimed middle school students in the West Bend School District were being asked to remove some political masks and not others.
Superintendent Jen Wimmer was asked about the allegations regarding the masks and responded.
“We have been made aware of a person posting information on a local Facebook group page that alleges a staff member at Badger Middle School told a student to remove a face mask because it featured a political candidate. The Badger administrative team, supported by our Director of Human Resources, is conducting a thorough investigation.
As that investigation takes place, families and the community can be assured that the West Bend School District believes students have the right to exercise non offensive and non disruptive free speech. Supporting a political candidate or advocating for a group (i.e. BLM, Blue Lives, flag, military, etc. as Ms. Kellom notes) is allowed in our schools. There is no policy or practice that would discourage this (unless as part of that message it included offensive language or imagery).”
Wimmer said, “Thank you for reaching out and helping to correct public perception regarding our practice. Again, we support our students’ rights to express themselves in a non offensive and non-disruptive manner. I have linked the policy that supports our practice of student expression.
Below is the original post from Facebook and Sue Kellom.
“I learned today that students at the Badger School are not allowed to wear any Trump mask and were asked to remove them as they were “Offensive” however BLM mask are allowed. I’m so sick of this double standard BS! You can have a School named after Barack Obama but Trump is offensive!?
I encourage everyone to write an email or call the West Bend School District to stop this discrimination. I understand political things however if you allow BLM then you also need to allow Blue Lives Matter, Military Lives matter, Trump mask and the American Flag mask.”
The problem is the West Bend School District sent an email stating no such incident ever happened basically calling the parent and others liars! Later the superintendent sent a correction email saying this was being investigated. It was very unprofessional to immediately jump to conclusions and assume the parents were liars and post something right away with out even talking to the parent or staff at the school and immediately stating it never happened. I have lost all respect for the West Bend School District Media! I have a copy of the email that was sent out to West Bend families before and after the incident was finally acknowledged.