NAZARETH, Pa. - Nazareth Area High 11th grader Jailen Goodine says school is better without a mask.

"I definitely prefer to not wear one but if I have to, I will wear one," he said.

He won't be wearing one, at least in class, as the Nazareth Area School Board voted to no longer make masks mandatory, instead making them optional.

Rachel Haddad has a daughter in 7th grade.

"She is someone who has been wearing a mask since day one because she is concerned about it. She asked me why they dropped the mask and I said I don't know," Haddad said.

The mandate remains in place on district transportation. This comes less than two weeks before the state mask mandate in schools expires Dec. 4 due to a court order.

Nazareth's vote to drop it came on the same day the Attorney General's Office filed an emergency application to the state's Supreme Court to keep the mandate in place.

Jermey Daley, parent of a middle schooler, says his son will continue to wear the mask and hopes other parents act responsibly.

"It's up to parents keeping them at home if they are showing symptoms. But the school should be more in control of having them wear masks, I feel," he said.

Daley also wondered how the district could end the statewide mandate early. 

The Superintendent said he was unavailable, and at the time of this report, members of the school have not gotten back to us about the decision.

The Governor's office replied to our inquiry, stating "we are aware of reports that some school districts are misinterpreting the ruling but would note that the vast majority of school districts are abiding. As has been the case since the inception of the order, School officials who fail to adhere to the order could lose the protection of sovereign immunity and may personally face lawsuits from those who may be affected by any official’s attempt to ignore the order.

"Failing to implement or follow the control measures may expose individuals to personal liability under 42 Pa.C.S § 8550 (relating to willful misconduct), as well as other remedies as provided by law. Failure to implement and follow the control measures under the Order also subjects a person to the penalty provisions of the Disease Prevention and Control Law of 1955."

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