Two school board members air differing views on masks

Nick Kapoor, left, and Justin Orlando, right, disagree on mask mandates.

MONROE, CT — Board of Education members Nick Kapoor and Justin Orlando do not see eye-to-eye on wearing masks to meetings. Orlando has a medical waiver, so Kapoor thinks he should participate remotely, rather than in-person without a mask.

“As elected leaders of our community we should be holding ourselves to a higher standard,” Kapoor said in a statement. “If a Board member can’t comply with the mask mandate, then they should have the respect for our students, staff, and teachers to participate remotely. Unfortunately, some board members can’t seem to meet that basic minimum threshold. ”

Orlando responded on Wednesday:

I would ask if there is a higher standard than the one set by our state’s governor. I am simply abiding by the governor’s order as it is written and do not believe there needs to be a higher standard than that.

Additionally, I would ask,  “Do certain board members believe masks are ineffective?”.  Based on some of their comments, during and after the meeting, it is certainly implied that they aren’t so confident in their efficacy.

If someone believes masks are effective in stopping COVID transmission and chooses to wear one, then they should not be concerned about whether anyone else is wearing one.

If certain members of the board believe masks work, then wearing one during meetings should be enough to remove any discomfort they may have, especially when social distancing is taking place. And as stated in the BOE meeting, if any member feels uncomfortable, I am certainly supportive of anyone who chooses to attend remotely.


  1. The title of this article should read “2 BOE clowns just wasting Monroe tax payer money and time” .

    It’s scary that these 2 people will be deciding future school plans that will affect the kids future. How can these 2 people be involved in our 60+ million BOE budget.

    Disappointed parent!

    • I AGREE! This is not about masks. Mr. Kapoor has an agenda and has been targeting Mr. Orland STOP! If you want to wear a mask to protect yourself, do so, otherwise you have no right to control another person’s body.

  2. Masks protect OTHERS from what YOU are carrying, Mr. Orlando. An elected official, (an Education official, at that) should do his homework on COVID transmission and mask effectiveness before printing such ill-informed opinions. Masks are only as effective as the weakest link. Mr. Orlando is a weak link.

    If Mr. Orlando is a carrier of the disease, he will spread it because he is maskless, and the masked people in the room will be put at risk.

    From the CDC: “ Masks are a simple barrier to help prevent your respiratory droplets from reaching others. Studies show that masks reduce the spray of droplets when worn over the nose and mouth. You should wear a mask, even if you do not feel sick.”

    It took two seconds for me to Google and get ACCURATE information. It seems to me that Mr. Orlando is not willing to do even the most basic research when it comes to making decisions that will affect other people’s health. I think a vote of no confidence is in order. Mr. Orlando is not fit to be holding a position that makes decisions concerning our children’s safety.

    • Did you google Ben Carson and what he says about masks???
      Sometimes it’s what you can’t see they that hurts us the most
      How many more years are you going to restrict our children’s brains

  3. I certainly agree with the above post. I can’t believe they are still people out there that don’t believe in the science. After the last 4 years it is to be expected. Glad I get to vote in this community. This pandemic will continue indefinitely.

  4. I’m glad The Monroe Sun has covered this ridiculous issue closely over the past few weeks and Mr. Orlando specifically over the past few months. Mr. Bittar’s coverage has shown us the kind of person Mr. Orlando is. We have seen that he is completely comfortable donning blackface but uncomfortable wearing a mask.

  5. Should we really be surprised? Justin Orlando did, after all, wear blackface (which he didn’t even apologize for). He still got elected – again, why is anyone surprised?

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