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Head of Bridgeport Catholic schools goes head to head with Conn. Education Department over masks

Andy Mabbett / Wikimedia Commons

The head of catholic schools in Bridgeport planned to lift it’s mask mandate early next week. The state Department of Education is pushing back on that idea.

Steven Cheeseman, the Superintendent for the Diocese of Bridgeport catholic schools, sent a letter to parents and families that students would be given the option to wear masks as of Monday.

Cheeseman’s letter came after Governor Ned Lamont said he would lift the requirements for students, teachers and staff to wear masks starting February 28 and leave that decision to local districts to keep the masks on or off.

Cheeseman decided to lift the mandate 14 days earlier because he said COVID-19 positivity rates are lower and the vaccination rate among faculty, staff and eligible students is high.

In a letter to Cheeseman, state Legal Director Michael McKeon said that the date is too early and would be a violation of state law.

Calls and emails left for the Diocese or the Department of Education were not immediately returned.

Mike Lyle is a former reporter and host at WSHU.