Masks are optional, up to parental choice in Iredell-Statesville Schools

Thresholds in place to move to “masks required” if necessary
Published: Jul. 28, 2021 at 10:59 AM EDT
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IREDELL COUNTY, N.C. (WBTV) - The Iredell-Statesville Board of Education voted unanimously to make it optional for students and staff to wear masks in the upcoming school year.

The BOE held an emergency meeting on Wednesday to discuss the issue. The Board was presented with two options: one option would have required masks to be worn inside, the second option was to make masks optional. After brief discussion, the Board approved the second option.

“Masks are optional in the Iredell-Statesville Schools as of this morning, but if we have significant spread we will have to address that,” said Dr. Boen Nutting of ISS. “Our number one priority is making sure children had an opportunity to be in school. We know that being in school, in a classroom, socially interacting with other students is the most important thing for us at this point. We don’t want to spread the virus, but we certainly don’t want to send children home again like we did last year.”

Several dozen people were in the audience for the meeting, including some holding up signs equating mask wearing with child abuse and demanding freedom.

When asked if she was happy with the decision, ISS parent and grandparent Vicky McCarter said “beyond, for the moment. Let’s see how it turns out. My child will never be masked.”

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