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Wisconsin school board member resigns after voting for mask mandate, citing safety concerns for family

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Protestors stand outside Beaver Dam High School Monday objecting to the district's policy requiring masks to be worn in school buildings to help prevent COVID-19 infections.

A member of the Beaver Dam Unified School Board resigned last week citing safety concerns by his family following the mask mandate in the district.

Tony Klatt has been on the board since April 2019. He posted on his Facebook page, Tony Klatt for School Board, on Thursday about his resignation from the board of education.

Tony Klatt

Klatt

“From starting this position with a vehicle crashed in the middle school, the tough decision to close down a coveted elementary school, and now almost two years of COVID, this term has definitely been a challenge and none of these decisions were taken lightly and not using all of the feedback and information in front of me,” Klatt wrote.

Klatt, who voted twice in favor of the mask mandate for Beaver Dam schools, said he still feels strongly it was the right decision but could not put his family through what has happened since the district made the decision.

“The decision to put our kids in masks is not a popularity contest, it’s based on facts at hand,” Klatt said. “With those pieced artifacts of selective information floating around and the communications that I have received as a result, my family no longer feels safe. When there is talk of protesting my house and someone later pulls in front and takes a picture of my address while my daughter is home alone, she does not feel safe. When a car sits running in front of my house late at night on a non-thoroughfare, my family does not feel safe. Therefore, I have to do what is best for my family and their well-being and resign my position on the school board effective immediately. It isn’t in my family’s best interest for me to try to appease a vocal group that continue to try to intimidate, harass, insult, and throw civility to the side.

“I hope that there is a legacy left in a visible change in transparency and communication that has improved over my tenure on the board, for our staff and for our parents,” Klatt ended his post. “I hope the staff felt more appreciation and self-worth. I hope that the parents in the community felt the board was listening and had input, regardless of what side of any decision they were on. It was an honor to serve you as a board member.”

Klatt’s position on the board would have been up for election in April.

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