Are Montana Students Required to Wear Masks on Privately-Run School Busses?

Published by Montana Daily Gazette

Lakeside/Somers Superintendent Price Retaliates Against Freedom Speaking Bus Driver

Somers-Lakeside School District 29 Superintendent Joe Price is out for blood. He is retaliating against Bus Driver Dick Syverson -bus #9-and manipulated the bus company owner to fire Syverson for exercising Freedom of Speech at a public board meeting.

When school board members voted for optional masking for students on September 3rd with a 3-2 vote Syverson got up and spoke, stating that he didn’t want his students masked or himself on the bus which was his personal opinion. This infuriated Price, who then sought revenge against the children’s favorite and beloved school bus driver. Syverson has driven the bus for 26 years with an outstanding and exemplary record.

Following the last board meeting a sign on the bus stated, -at the advice of Superintendent of Public Instruction Elsie Arntzen-“Masks are Optional,” and masks were provided on the bus for those who chose to wear them; that wasn’t hardcore enough for Lakeside Principal Stephanie Broyles, who got on Syverson’s bus and wanted to coerce the students into wearing masks.

She was then asked by Syverson to “get off his bus.”

Superintendent Arntzen revealed to Syverson to tell anyone who asked, “What is required by Montana State Superintendent of Schools has been done. All medical decisions must be made by the parents.”

The issue of forced masking on private school busses is highly debatable.

According to local School Law Attorney Abby Moscatel:

“It is unclear whether private school bus drivers and kids riding those busses are required to wear masks under Federal Law. The federal legislature has not passed a law requiring mask wearing on private school busses. There is not a state law requiring it, either. President Biden did issue an Executive Order requiring masks on many forms of transportation, like planes and trains, but private school busses are not included in that order. But, then, the CDC came out with its own order, which does require school kids and school bus drivers to wear masks. The legal question is whether the CDC’s rule would hold up in court. At this time, we just don’t know.” – Abby Moscatel, Esq.Blacktail Law Group

Superintendent Price then manipulated Treasure States Transit owner Hartley Hageness -who owns the bus Syverson drove- into firing the bus driver and who did so before tonight’s school board meeting! Price threatened to cancel Hagnesses contract if Hageness didn’t fire Syverson. Hageness then told Syverson that he was “not allowed” to speak at tonight’s meeting, against the bus driver’s constitutional rights. Hageness has been Syverson’s employer for 26 years and Hageness never had any complaints concerning Syverson.

Price is known for shifty moves, as seen in the this article, where he would not wear the very mask he enforced at a board meeting.

Elsie Arntzen, State Superintendent of Public Instruction, has communicated with Syverson and knows this is shifty and is for Syverson.

There will be a public school board meeting tonight at 6 PM in Lakeside, MT, at the elementary school on Adam’s Street for all who want to speak on Syverson’s behalf and these unconstitutional matters.