DES MOINES, Iowa – The Des Moines Public Schools District reimplemented a mask mandate on September 15. Just a couple of weeks later, the school district terminated a teacher’s contract at the October 5 school board meeting.
Alex Petersen is the teacher who was fired from the school. He was a Welding Technology and Skill Trades teacher. In response to his termination Petersen said, “Above all things I trust in God who sustains me and my family, I’m secure in my decision to stand against this mask mandate and any other mandate in opposition of freedom. No one lost but the students.”
The school district said out of 5,000 staff only a handful of teachers were not compliant with the mandate being reinstated.
“Only 10 employees have been sent home over the past month,” Phil Roeder, the school district’s spokesperson said. “Otherwise, employees have returned to work in compliance with the district’s requirements or, in one case, an employee refused to comply and was let go.”
Roeder also mentioned that there were 12 employees with the district who have been approved for exemptions to the mask policy. This was not something the school district would be an issue with teachers on reimplementing the policy.
“We didn’t expect to see many and the facts show that we haven’t seen many,” Roeder said.
Multiple other schools have mask mandates implemented around the state. The Ankeny Community School District has not let anyone go for not following the policy.
“No teachers or staff employed with the Ankeny Community School District have been let go due to insubordination regarding the district’s mask policy,” Jamie Loggins-Evans, the Communications Consultant with the district said.
Mike Beranek, the President of the Iowa State Education Association told WHO 13 that they were not aware of any other situation like the one in Des Moines.