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Police trespass man from Rochester Public Schools property during school board meeting

The confrontation was the first time police officers have trespassed someone for not complying with the school district's mask policy during a public meeting.

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A person is trespassed from Rochester Public Schools' Edison Administration Building for not wearing a mask properly to prevent the spread of COVID-19 during a school board meeting Tuesday, Oct. 19, 2021, in Rochester. Protective masks are required in school district buildings. Joe Ahlquist / Post Bulletin
Joe Ahlquist
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Police officers trespassed an individual during Tuesday's Rochester School Board meeting, barring the person from entering school district property for one year.

Officers escorted the individual from the boardroom during the public comment portion of the meeting. Neither the police department nor the School District would provide the name of the individual who was cited.

"These things do not work; take them off our kid(s)," the man said as he left the room, referring to face masks. That was followed by applause from some people in the audience.

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The confrontation was the first time police officers have trespassed someone for not complying with the School District's mask policy during a public meeting. Board Chairwoman Jean Marvin issued a statement at an earlier meeting, letting the public know the School District would trespass anyone for not complying with the mask mandate.

At an earlier meeting, Marvin recessed a proceeding for 30 minutes until everyone in the room agreed to comply with the requirement.

After leaving the boardroom, the individual, as well as several others, continued arguing with the officers in the parking lot of the Edison Building, where the meetings are held. When speaking with police and school officials, the man repeatedly said he was medically exempt and that it would be a HIPAA violation for the district to ask him what that exemption was.

RPS Director of Operations Scott Sherden responded to the individual, saying he offered him a face shield as an alternative.

Jordan Shearer covers K-12 education for the Post Bulletin. A Rochester native, he graduated from Bemidji State University in 2013 before heading out to write for a small newsroom in the boonies of western Nebraska. Bringing things full circle, he returned to Rochester in 2020 just shy of a decade after leaving. Readers can reach Jordan at 507-285-7710 or jshearer@postbulletin.com.
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