Mom: 5th-grade son kicked off school bus for mask infraction

Mom: 5th-grade son kicked off school bus for mask infraction

MONROE, N.H. — A woman says her fifth-grade son was kicked off a school bus for the rest of the year because of a mask-wearing infraction.

Leilani Provencal posted the “inappropriate bus behavior notification” slip on Facebook regarding her son, Body Heath, 9. It said, “mask not worn over nose.”

The slip said it was Heath’s second bus-riding offense; Provencal told the Caledonian-Record he had been warned for using an electronic device.

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Provencal said her son, who goes to school in Monroe, lowered his mask Tuesday after accepting a mint from a friend; she said she’s struggling to understand how there’s no tolerance for a child making a mask mistake.

“I’ve tried really hard to get my head around this and it just doesn’t make sense,” said Provencal.

A phone message seeking comment was left Friday with the bus company, JPI Transportation.

Provencal said she was told by school board members that the school district could not alter bus company policy, but that the issue could be discussed at the next board meeting, on Oct. 19.

The family says Body was really excited to start 5th grade, even with all the COVID-19 protocols in place.

“I honestly thought I was kind of getting pranked here," said Provencal. “He’s more upset that people are going to be mad at him than anything, which breaks my heart a little bit.”

Provencal said the bus company won’t budge on their police, and that Monroe Consolidated School, where Body attends, didn’t have much of a say either since the company is contracted out. Still, she’s hoping for a fair resolution.

“I feel like it wasn’t met with compassion and understanding and it could have been a teachable moment, and instead it was let’s penalize them and make an example of them," said Provencal.

The school board is meeting in 10 days to discuss how to handle this situation and other incidents like it that can happen throughout the rest of the school year.

Boston 25 has reached out to JPI Transportation for a comment but has not heard back yet.

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