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Craven County Schools makes masks mandatory for K-8, optional 9-12

Published: Aug. 2, 2021 at 8:36 AM EDT|Updated: Aug. 2, 2021 at 11:11 AM EDT
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CRAVEN COUNTY, N.C. (WITN) - An Eastern Carolina school system will make masks mandatory for some students when they return to the classroom later this month.

The Craven County School Board met in special session this morning to discuss having students wear masks in the classrooms.

The school board voted 4-3 to require students and staff in grades K-8 to mask up, while masks are optional for high school students.

Some like Craven County parent, Natasha Nicholls support the boards conclusion, “I think it was a responsible decision that was made.”

Yet others like Jennifer Dacey with the Craven County Juvenile Prevention Council do not agree “I am pleased that high schoolers and early college students will not have to wear masks, but I am disappointed that as a society we are again putting the burden of this pandemic on the smallest among us.”

The board also decided the parents of 9th-12th graders can write the school directing their child to wear a mask, if the child is seen without one the school will make a phone call home.

Last week the Centers for Disease Control recommended masks for all teachers, staff, students, and visitors to K-12 schools, regardless of their vaccination status.

Craven County said if its COVID-19 spread rate improves from orange to yellow then they could re-evaluate today’s mandate on masks.

Another school system met Monday to review COVID-19 protocols for the upcoming school year.

The Craven County School Board will meet Monday morning to talk about what the school year will look like, which will likely include a discussion on whether masks will be required or optional in the classroom.

Last week, the CDC issued new guidance saying all kindergarten through 12th grade schools should require masks be worn regardless of vaccination status.

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