PERRYSBURG – A Penta Career Center parent addressed concerns she had with the current mask guidelines.

Penta started the school year mask free but mandated them in September when the number of students out due to the coronavirus rose.

Karlyn Swoap, who has four children, missed the board calling her name to speak since she was asked to wait outside because she wasn’t wearing a mask.

“Our family recognizes the educational value and job training, and the skills Penta offers, not only our children but the community as well,” said Swoap, who said she has two seniors at Penta this year and one who graduated from Penta in 2017.

She said she always speaks highly of the teachers and opportunities at Penta.

“That being said, I have recently experienced a great deal of frustration with the school,” Swoap said. “I don’t think anyone here would argue the fact that Penta is an education center. It’s not a medical center.”

Penta should not be making decisions about her children’s medical needs, she said at Penta’s Oct. 13 board meeting.

“It is not the board of education’s decision to state that my children have to wear medical masks to school.”

Board members have not been a part of the medical care of her children for the past 17 years, and it is not needed now, Swoap said.

Wearing masks is not law and is only a recommendation by the state health department, she said.

“Parents are not asking you to remove masks or quarantines. We, however, are demanding parent choice when it comes to masking or quarantining our own children,” Swoap said. “Through coercion and taking away parental rights, you have coerced students into wearing masks in order to receive their education. This is illegal.”

Also at the meeting, the board:

• Heard Perrysburg Township Police Ptl. Robert Grooms, who is Penta’s school resource officer, and school counselor Callie Haas report on their work related to the Ohio School Safety Summit and the presentation they gave on Threat Assessment; Lessons Learned at the state summit.

Grooms said Penta has been doing an assessment for four years.

“It is great on paper … but when you take that and you actually implement it, it is rough and scary and takes a lot of work to do properly,” Grooms said.

It’s very simple to identify a threat, he said. “The difficult thing is how do we deal with it … and what do we do with it after.”

Next school year, all districts will need to have a threat assessment in place, he said.

• Approved the resignation of Michele Flick as an intervention specialist. She started at Penta in 1980.

• Heard Superintendent Ed Ewers give a preview of the report he planned to give to the Joint Advisory Committee meeting later in October. Area business and industry representatives who serve as members of Penta’s program advisory committees attended to watch the presentation then meet with their individual programs and Penta’s lab instructors.

• Learned from Ewers that by students and staff wearing masks, they have been able to prevent a minimum of 1,800 student absent days.