Francesconi: School doors were not locked during Thursday mask protests


Editor’s note: This press release was issued by La Porte Community School Corporation Supt. Mark Francesconi Sept. 16 in response to those who have protested the new mask requirement: 


We would like to thank everyone for their cooperation this week as we transition to the updated  COVID-19 Intervention Plan. Our schools have demonstrated their commitment to keeping  healthy students in the classroom. As always, we respect direct feedback from our school  community, and have received numerous phone calls and emails from people voicing their support, as well as concern regarding the face covering requirement.  

This week we received a petition against the face covering requirement stated in the recent COVID-19 plan. As well, a peaceful protest was held Thursday morning (Sept. 16) outside of the  corporation educational services building. We also received reports that a student walkout was  planned at the high school resulting in our staff monitoring the halls and doors for purposes of student safety and accountability. A report to the fire department led to city fire officials coming to the high school to investigate claims that staff locked doors and blocked students from exiting. Their conclusion was that the report was false.  

These are challenging times and we acknowledge the charged atmosphere surrounding  COVID-19 science and guidance, masking mandates, parent choice, freedom, and decisions surrounding these issues. It is important to reiterate that the decision to move forward with a face covering requirement was a result of the recent quarantine guideline changes made by the State of Indiana. Since the beginning of the school year, we have had to quarantine nearly 450  healthy individuals due to close contact tracing. Complying with this change only strengthens the safety of our schools and significantly lowers the number of quarantined students, aligning with the LPCSC focus of avoiding disruptions of the educational process by keeping healthy students in the classroom with their teachers and peers.  

We will continue monitoring our data and reviewing any updates and guidance. Your cooperation and support are greatly appreciated.  

Thank you,  

Dr. Mark D. Francesconi

Superintendent, La Porte Community School Corporation 

4 Responses to “Francesconi: School doors were not locked during Thursday mask protests”

  1. Skeptical

    Sep 17. 2021

    I’d very much like to hear from students about this. I highly doubt there wasn’t a single student who wanted to protest but surprisingly none of them did. I find that really hard to believe.

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  2. jj

    Sep 17. 2021

    It appears that we have many wise and mature students. too bad some of the adults won’t follow their lead. God bless you all.

    Reply to this comment
  3. Sherry

    Sep 17. 2021

    In my humble opinion the ones standing at the doors, if that even happened may have just been taking names, marking them as truant or absent. I do not believe anybody was blocking or locking the doors. Come on really stop all the drama.

    Reply to this comment
  4. Seriously

    Sep 19. 2021

    Anything to enhance the drama! The doors are all equipped with crash bars that allow anyone at anytime to exit with a simple push. The only way to “lock” the door and prevent an exit would be to chain the doors. There are more than 30 entrances and exits at the high school, most with multiple doors. It would take a couple dozen people hours to chain all of the doors, all of which would be illegal.

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