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Culver superintendent joins pushback over state’s mask requirement in schools


(Update: Adding background on state's school mask requirement)

Calls masks visual 'form of discrimination and inequality'

CULVER, Ore. (KTVZ) -- The Culver school superintendent told parents and the community Friday that the district will challenge the state's order that students and staff wear masks when classes resume this fall.

Here's her full letter posted on their website:

July 30, 2021
Dear Families,

Culver School District was extremely disappointed to learn yesterday that Governor Kate Brown mandated masks for public schools for the upcoming school year. We believe it is our District’s role to consider the full impact on safety, learning, and social development that masks have on children.

At our school board meeting last night we confirmed the following:

  1. Children are medically, physically, and psychologically harmed by mask mandates.
  2. Masks are a form of discrimination & inequality that is visual, day after day. The students in poverty have to use the school provided medical blue disposable masks, they do not have access to the custom store-bought ones. This visually shows their economic status to everyone.
  3. No one at the State Level is talking about the psychological effects of masks and communication. We saw negative effects daily on our campus.
  4. We never had an outbreak of any kind on campus from September to June. Cases that did happen were from exposures outside of school and our parents were excellent at being cautious, informing the school, and keeping their students home if there was even a hint of illness. We trust them to do so again.
  5. We have an excellent partnership with the Jefferson County Health Department.
  6. Every decision needs to be given to families and we trust that they determine what they feel is best for their child, both for masks and vaccines.

    I will not tolerate any mandate that risks the safety, learning, or social development of our students.

    Our district will do whatever it takes to retain the stance of local decision making and have masks be optional, honoring each family’s wishes for their own student.

    There will be more to come & we value our students, families, staff & community!

    Stefanie Garber
    Elementary Principal & District Superintendent

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control has recommended masks for all teachers, staff, students and visitors inside of schools, regardless of vaccination status.

On Thursday, Gov. Kate Brown announced that the state of Oregon will require students and staff in K-12 schools to wear masks indoors this fall.

In a statement from the Oregon Department of Education, officials say they are working to create a rule requiring face coverings in all indoor school settings — both public and private — for all individuals 2 and older. This includes students, staff, contractors, volunteers and visitors.

The rule will include provisions for eating, drinking, playing a musical instrument that requires using the mouth and certain sports — including swimming, gymnastics and wrestling.

Officials say the rule will take effect upon adoption, but the exact date is unclear.

But as masks are reimplemented in some places, Oregon health officials warned Friday the predicted daily COVID-19 case counts and hospitalizations in August show a sharp increase.

Based on the Oregon Health Authority’s newest COVID-19 modeling, at the current level of transmission, over the next two weeks daily cases would continue to rapidly increase to an estimated 1,170 cases and 95 new hospitalizations per day. The average amount of cases per day last week was 443 and an average of about 21 new daily hospitalizations, based on data from the health authority.

“I’m extremely concerned about the situation right now, but extremely grateful that we have other tools in this fight that we didn’t have six month ago,” said Dr. Dean Sidelinger, the state epidemiologist and health officer. “The vaccines that we currently have available to us in Oregon and across the United States are highly effective at preventing hospitalizations and death from COVID-19 – but that depends on people being vaccinated.”

Currently, about 29% of adults in Oregon remain unvaccinated. Last month, the health authority reported that 92% of coronavirus cases in June and 94% of coronavirus deaths occurred in unvaccinated Oregonians.

“We know that people would like to move on from COVID-19 – but unfortunately it is here and it is a much more formidable foe right now than it has been for the last year and a half,” Sidelinger said. “But the tools that we have are also more formidable, so let's use them.”

The impacts of the virus on unvaccinated people are apparent when looking at high-infection rates in counties with low-vaccination rates.

Last week, in rural Umatilla County where 43% of adults are partially or fully vaccinated, the areas coronavirus-test positivity rate surpassed 14%. On Friday health officials reported that the Pendleton Whisky Music Fest, which was held in Umatilla County on July 10, was the site of an outbreak — so far, 58 people who attended the event have tested positive for COVID-19.

Read more at:

KTVZ news sources



  1. Well done!!!!! Leadership that is calling out fake science. Culver’s covid numbers are so small this shouldn’t even be a question. I’m fact all of central Oregon should be doing the same thing. Shame on Bend/Lapine for caving on crap science.

    1. Wow! You sure ruffle a lot of feathers on this forum and the hatred toward you is very apparent. You know your over the target when your taking incoming fire. Keep up the great posts as you seem to follow the science.

  2. Wow. Blue masks are discrimination? I forgot I was suppose to be ashamed of wearing them for months. I guess Culver has school uniforms to make sure there is no class distinction based on clothing?

    Good thing educators like Ms. Garber are fighting the “good” fight for our kids. Maybe they should focus on teaching.. And enroll is some remedial science classes they obviously need.

    1. I know, suddenly public schools are supposed to take childrens’ economic status and feelings into account when the whole country has watched over 600,000 people die in a year and change?

    2. I know, suddenly public schools are supposed to take childrens’ economic status and feelings into account when the whole country has watched over 600,000 people die in a year and change?
      Lower economic status also increases your risk of getting covid. I wonder if Ms. Garber ever considered that fact.

    1. I don’t really care about Culver, or children, or any of it… but the part about blue masks and discrimination was pretty stupid. #predictable

  3. If you all do some leg work it says the cdc recommends that in high outbreak places that schools should wear mask. We are not high outbreak area. Comrade brown should shove that mask mandate in her mouth. Also, Biden said in back in May if you have fully chipped, haha, vaccinated you would never wear a mask again for covid reasons, now he flip flop. Ugh.

    1. It’s not flip flopping. Just as the virus is mutating/evolving and our information about increases, so must the response change. It’s just like waging war. A smart commander will adjust battle plans according to the actions of the enemy. This is war on a virus that has caused over 610K fatalities in our country alone. It is a dynamic situation, not static. We need to use every weapon in our armory to save as many lives as possIble and restore normal socioeconomic status as soon as possible.

  4. This mandate will kill more people then the virus. People are mentally fatigued that opens up to depression and suicide rates climb. Business are currently struggling to stay open, since no one wants to wear a mask all day and get free money from the government. Open your eyes people.

    1. This all about control of the up and coming 2022 election cycle… if they can keep the Wuhan China virus fear porn alive it will allow to keep all special voting rules in place that we saw in the 2020 election.. mail in ballots, ballot harvesting, not requiring signatures for mail in ballots in some states, no having to prove who you are to vote. That is just a few examples that come to mind and the list is a miles long. A lot of states are tightening up the voter laws and the Dems of course play the race card.

      1. All your nuttery lost in courts, over and over. Ask Rudy. He never convinced EVEN A TRUMP APPOINTED JUDGE to take his huckster bustle seriously.
        No one stole the election.frim President Pantload. He lost it by being such a poor tactician, and such a crass human.

    1. The unvaccinated morons . I would say we are all unvaccinated and the only morons are you and the ones who believe that the shot you got in your arm is a vaccine. Have you ever wondered why the FDA hasn’t approved not even one of those so called vaccines? No of course not youre to busy reading people’s posts and calling them names just like all your liberal vaxxed friends to care if the crap your putting in your body is safe or not. Quit listening to all theses so called experts and do some research for yourself. I mean real research not the crap your getting from CNN and this little news channel.

      1. Telling people to research for themselves is just a way to tell them to find “info” that fits the narrative of their bias. Doesn’t matter if the “info” is true or not, and so much of it isn’t, but it makes them feel good about their choice, at least until reality steps in.

  5. Make them all wear blue masks, droplet masks are safest anyway.
    If you witness someone nearly stroking and flatlining at 50yo because of this virus and it’s effects then maybe you’ll see why we need to stop the spread.
    Enough with the fake science too, folks. Your opinions about climate science were on point as well, sad!!
    What would Jesus do?

  6. If you’re sending your kids to school in Culver, masks are the least of your worries when it comes to learning and the social-development of students.

  7. Isn’t it a priority to protect the health of our kids to the best of our ability? Who knows what other mutations/variants, possibly more dangerous, are floating around now or will be by the time the kids go back to the classroom. Shouldn’t every available tool be used to keep the kids safe? The mask discrimination is an easy fix – just dispense the same mask to every kid and ban the ones from home. Who knows when it was last sanitized any way. And if a kid has psychological problems from wearing a mask, well perhaps the parents bad mouthing masks and those who recommend them have the greatest influence in that regard.

      1. She is also a Principal by the way she signed the letter, which is copied below. Do you read about science with the same keen eye and grasp of detail? Or you do you just read headlines and make assumptions from there?

        Stefanie Garber
        Elementary Principal & District Superintendent

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