MCCANDLESS, Pa. (KDKA) — The fight over masking in schools continues across the region.

Wednesday night was the latest example of the masking debate getting out of hand. The North Allegheny school board had to shut down its meeting before any business could be addressed.

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“Even if you ignore the safety concern in the school and you’re just focused on keeping kids in the classroom learning, the best way is universal masking,” AHN Infectious Disease Physician Dr. Nathan Shively said.

Dr. Shively said masks work.

“The person wearing a mask is less likely to give it to someone else and it helps you to not be exposed to the coronavirus,” Dr. Shively said over Zoom.

“If that’s all it takes to protect yourself, it’s not that much of a suffering to put a mask on while you’re in close proximity in a classroom for over 40 to 50 minutes at a time,” said Ken Behrend, who represents pro-mask clients.

Behrend said parents showing up to Wednesday’s school board meeting with no masks violated the federal court order and could cause the district fines, paid for by tax dollars.

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“They’ll have to increase our taxes because the anti-maskers are out there, causing the school board to not be able to function or possibly be in violation of the federal court order,” Behrend said.

Behrend said anti-masking parents are trying to out parents who anonymously filed complaints.

“We’re not looking for a situation where the children start getting harassed and bullied because their parents somehow piece together who the individuals are,” Behrend said over Zoom.

Other parents in the district plan to take legal action to make sure there is no masking of students.

“We have affidavits that have been notarized and signed, we have lawyers, we are looking to pursue some kind of legal action or criminal charges against the abuse and neglect and unfairness that’s been bestowed upon our children and the damages that have been done to the children and their families,” anti-masking parent Victoria Klaus said.

North Allegheny said students will have face-covering breaks that will not exceed five minutes during a period, and the students must be physically distant.

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KDKA asked the district about the federal order. The district said it won’t comment on pending litigation.