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Avery County School Board decides masks will be optional for students and teachers

Published: Aug. 11, 2021 at 5:42 PM EDT
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NEWLAND, N.C. (WBTV) - The Avery County Board of Education Tuesday night unanimously voted to leave the question of children wearing masks to school up to their parents.

“We thought they would know better than the five of us,” said board chair John Greene.

The vote was to recommend masks for kids but not mandate them.

Teachers and staff are allowed to make their own decisions as well.

Parent Michelle Brooks thought it was important that the board voted as it did.

She’s already decided that her son will wear a mask “for the time being.”

While the in-classroom wearing of masks is optional for the students, teachers and staff, visitors to the schools will have to wear them inside the building and classrooms.

At indoor events in the auditorium or gym, spectators who are unvaccinated will come under a mask mandate.

In addition, officials say cleaning crews will sanitize on a daily basis and do a deep cleaning of buildings and buses at least twice a week.

Superintendent Dan Brigman says school officials will work with the Health Department to closely monitor the situation and make changes when needed.

“Safety of our staff and students is paramount,” he said.

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