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HEAR IT: Principal “Please… Comply” — High School Makes Spreadsheet of Unmasked Students

MIDDLEBURY, Ind. — REAL News Michiana has learned Northridge High School in Middlebury is keeping a spreadsheet of students who refuse to wear masks in school. RNM received multiple messages with pictures of the spreadsheet and has confirmed its authenticity through multiple people with first-hand knowledge of the program. RNM’s sources asked not to be named out of fear of retaliation.

The title of the spreadsheet is “Mask Non-Compliance.” The first column states, “Please list the names of students below who are not complying with the mask mandate. While we are absolutely giving students grace as they adjust to wearing masks again, you should list students who have refused your gentle reminders and continue to not wear their masks.” You can see a screenshot of the spreadsheet below.

Sources tell RNM there were dozens of children listed on the spreadsheet by the end of the day on Thursday. There’s also a column for teachers and staff to leave notes, explaining why a student was not wearing their mask.

RNM was also given an audio recording of what sources tell us is Northridge Principal Andrew Wood making an announcement to students on Thursday morning.

Wood is heard telling students “Please do not put your teachers on the spot. If they’re asking politely, please do that. When you’re walking in the halls, please have your mask on.” Wood explains he and the teachers are not being political, they are doing what the governor and the school board have requested and asks that if students need a break or have issues, to speak with their teacher and him directly. The recording does not capture the first several seconds of the announcement. RNM is working to confirm what was missed. You can listed to what was captured. A full transcript is at the bottom of the story.

RNM Reached out to Mr. Wood for comment. As of publication, we have not received a response. The email sent to him can be seen below.

Mr. Wood,
First, thank you for taking the time to respond to my inquiry. I know you are very busy and these are some trying times. 
I have been sent multiple messages and screenshots of a spreadsheet meant to document non-compliant students with the mask mandate. Was this also policy set by the school board? Or, is this your own policy? Why are you making this list? What is being done with this information?
I was also sent a recording from a morning announcement yesterday. The recording does not catch the beginning of the announcement. I am told you asked any student who was refusing to wear a mask to report. 
The recording has a very diplomatic tone, explains that teachers and the school board don’t want to get involved in politics — but, you need to do what you’re told, essentially. 
I understand that you are also following orders. But, is it fair to be pushing this down on children and families? Public employees like Soldiers and Police Officers disobey unlawful orders all of the time. What is your opinion on civil disobedience? 
I know this is not an easy time for anyone. I do not envy your position. However, I would like comment on these issues. 


Thank you,

Clifton French

REAL News Michiana

TRANSCRIPT OF AUDIO

“…if you choose to mask or not mask. That is not the direction that we went, because we were having a lot of students out for tracing. And, that’s not made very many people happy either. And, the whole point of school is to have you here in school, so, the school board made that tough decision and we’ve chosen to do the mask mandate and we hope it’s for a very limited amount of time. This order, by the governor, who basically has put our board in the situation they are in, and our superintendent as well, it’s a class B misdemeanor, if they did not choose one or the other, they run the risk of breaking the law each day. That’s not somewhere where our leaders in our community want to be, breaking the law each day. So, that was a tough decision that was made. I know it’s not everybody’s favorite decision. And, I know that we have folks on both sides of the topic right now. I’m trying to stay in the middle here folks, because I just want you to learn. So, if you’re able, put that mask on. It’s not because we’re trying to offend you or trying to offend your parents. We love you. We love our families. And, we’re going through a tough time now people. So, if we stick together, work together, and do not, please do not put your teachers on the spot. If they’re asking politely, please do that. When you’re walking in the halls, please have your mask on. If you need a break and you’re having trouble breathing, ask your teacher for a break. I mean, we’re not here to make you suffer. I promise you our only goal and purpose here, we’re all here to help you to learn and help you be successful. We do not want to be involved in the middle of a political fight here at the school. We do want to just make sure we’re here to help you learn. That all being said, if have questions, please see me. If your teacher asks you, a teacher may just ask you to just come talk to me, and that’s perfectly fine. I’m not screaming at anybody about this because it’s a tough deal and it’s a tough decision for kids to make. I know we have students in tough decisions, having to make tough decisions also, so, it is a difficult time. We need to stick together. We are Raiders together no matter what. At the end of the day, we agree on most things. So, let’s stick together the best we can. Be compassionate and caring toward your teacher too. They’re humans too and they feel like they’re targeted also. So, we don’t want anybody in the building to feel that way. We want all of you to feel safe. Every staff member (inaudible) be safe. So, I’ve gone on a little bit about this. I’m very passionate. I just want us to learn today. And please do the best you can to comply. Again, it’s not personal for us. We’re being asked to do this by the governor, so, I guess, write the governor. Honestly, we are in a tough spot. And, we are in the middle and we just want you to learn. Alright, I’ve said enough this morning. I think the world of all of you. Thank you for those that were, uh, so easy to work with yesterday. And those, if you’re refusing to wear a mask, and you’d like wanna have a discussion with that with me, please, let’s have that discussion so we can just, again, try to move on and make some kind of a modification so you can continue your learning. Sorry for this long interruption, but please, have a good day.”

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