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MOUNT VERNON — A Mount Vernon School Board meeting was switched to online only Wednesday after a person attending the meeting declined to abide by a mask mandate.

School District Superintendent Ismael Vivanco said as the person became disruptive, the board recessed and Mount Vernon police were called.

Officers responded to the meeting at Madison Elementary School and spoke with the person, who then left the school, Mount Vernon Police Department Records Manager Jennifer Messina said.

The School Board then resumed its meeting online only, Vivanco said.

The incident came shortly after a rally was held outside the school urging that students not be required to wear masks when they return to school.

Such rallies were held throughout the state Wednesday, including in Anacortes, Burlington, Concrete, Sedro-Woolley and Mount Vernon.

A proclamation from Gov. Jay Inslee requires that when students return to in-person learning this fall, they and all the staff around them wear masks.

Inslee announced Wednesday a statewide mask mandate for all individuals in public settings regardless of vaccination status. This mandate goes into effect Monday.

However, school districts have for several months been operating under previous rules stating that masks must be worn indoors when students are present — or as in the case of a public meeting — could be present.

Although they are not currently serving due to the summer break, the Mount Vernon School Board includes student representatives.

The Mount Vernon School Board will now discuss whether it will continue to meet in a hybrid fashion — online and in person — or just online, Vivanco said.

— Reporter Kera Wanielista: 360-416-2141, kwanielista@skagitpublishing.com, Twitter: @Kera_SVH, facebook.com/KeraReports

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