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DMPS teacher fired after refusing to wear a mask, district confirms

Iowa's largest school district said the number of staff not complying with the mask mandate is very small.

DES MOINES, Iowa — About a week after a federal judge in Iowa temporarily delayed the enforcement of a law banning mask mandates in schools, at least one teacher has been let go for failure to comply with the policy set by their district.

According to Phil Roeder, a spokesman with the Des Moines Public School District, one teacher refused to comply with the district's mask mandate and was subsequently fired.

In total, 10 DMPS employees have been sent home over the past month for failure to wear a face covering. All but one have since returned to work. 

"To put this in perspective, we have 5,000 employees and we are now a month into the mask mandate, and so the initial reaction is behind us," Roeder said.

Roeder pointed out last year the district mandated masks for teachers and students

Since the current mask mandate was approved by the school board, 12 district employees have been approved for exemptions. Employees can apply for medical or religious exemptions

Mask policies were approved by school boards in Ames, Southeast Polk, West Des Moines, Urbandale, Johnston and Ankeny. None of those school districts reported any employees failing to comply with the policies.

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