November 28, 2022

D-R Superintendent: No More Mask Shaming

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The Dighton-Rehoboth Regional Schools will not be requiring students to wear masks to prevent the spread of Covid when the new academic year begins in September.

Superintendent Bill Runey made the announcement at Tuesday’s school committee meeting. “We want to continue to promote a “mask friendly” environment in our schools so people do not feel shamed for wanting to wear a mask,” Runey explained. “Our principals are on board with this and will take any kind of mask shaming seriously.”

There is no Covid testing planned although Runey said other school districts are conducting their own testing programs.

The state’s Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) lifted the mask requirement for schools last February.

The issue of school safety was also discussed.

Runey said walk-throughs with the designees of the Dighton and Rehoboth Police Chiefs would happen later this week to establish safety and security protocols going forward. “Of our five buildings, there was very little common verbiage, very little common understanding,” Runey continued.

Dighton-Rehoboth Regional High School was placed under lockdown last June after a threatening message was discovered in one of the restrooms. A similar incident occurred at the school last March. Dighton Police determined there was no credible threat in either incident.

Posters will be placed throughout the buildings detailing how teachers and students are expected to behave in certain situations.

In addition, the doors on all the buildings will have new locks installed. New keys will be issued to personnel. Runey said this will prevent former school department employees who may be carrying grudges from having access to the buildings. “We’re working on our overall security vision,” Runey said, adding a new digital management system called E-Hall Pass would be instituted.

“This way a teacher will be able to tell how many (students) are out of class at any given time. If we do have to go into some type of lockdown or evacuation system, we know where every student is.”

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