LISBON — The head of Lisbon’s schools said staff will be cracking down on mask requirements and other safety protocols after some school committee members complained that some high schoolers weren’t wearing masks or social distancing in the parking lot after school.

Superintendent Richard Green said last week that he has seen students gathering in groups without masks or distancing after leaving school property. The district is sent a letter home to families informing them that schools will be trying to stem violations of COVID-19 safety measures.

“We will control it on school grounds, and people have been very strict about it,” Green said. “There’s been warnings issued,” and more severe discipline could be issued.

Lisbon schools fully reopened in September to in-person instruction five days a week.

Lisbon High School students who spoke to the Times Record on Thursday said that, for the most part, students are wearing masks and following protocols in school.

Junior class Vice President Amelia Mooney said she sees students standing outside the school with masks on and said she wears a mask until she gets to her car.

“But I also doubt kids are walking home in groups in their masks just because they don’t think they don’t have to wear it as much [outside],” Mooney said.

Mooney said the school has done a good job getting kids to wear masks and keep them on.

“I think everyone understood we’re at school, we’re in an enclosed space and with the virus, we should have them on,” Mooney said. “It’s definitely a big change but for me, I sometimes forget to even take it off. It just becomes something normal, I guess.”

Mooney said the school also implemented new safety measures. For example, students now have to sit for mask breaks in the hallway, limited to 5 minutes, three times a day.

Sophomore Emily Libby said when school started in September, there were many kids who took their masks off outside the school and gathered in groups after classes. Now one of the principals is usually in the parking lot telling students to put their masks on and moving students along so they aren’t hanging around after school.

“I know there’s been recent rules,” Libby said. “If your mask is off or below the nose, you can get a detention.”

Lisbon schools saw the first case of COVID-19 two weeks ago. The school department notified parents on Nov. 18 that an individual associated with Lisbon High School had tested positive. On Nov. 23, parents were alerted that an individual associated with Gartley Street School, which houses special education and alternative education programs, tested positive.

“The biggest challenge with contact tracing, to be honest with you, it’s not what happens in our schools,” Green said last week. “It’s what’s happening outside the schools.”

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