Wake County school leaders OK mask mandate extension, discuss future school assignments

COVID-19 and schools

CARY, N.C. (WNCN) — In a required monthly vote Tuesday evening, the Wake County Board of Education decided to keep a mask mandate, which requires masks indoors as well for athletes who are not actively involved in practice or a game.

“I think it’s ridiculous,” said Russell Lichtenstein, who opposes mask mandates in schools. “My son has to go tackle a guy with his face right here, breathe on him, then come back put a mask on next to his teammates.”

Some board members pointed out there have been multiple COVID-19 clusters involving athletes and the goal is to keep teams from having to quarantine so they can continue playing.

Valerie Smith supports mask mandates, and says her grandchildren have no problem wearing face coverings.

“I think the board is keeping everybody safe I really do,” she said. “I think because they don’t have a vaccine for the little ones right now, let them keep the masks on.”

COVID-19 cases have recently declined in schools, and board members say following COVID protocols is the best way to keep kids safely in class.

The board will revisit the mask issue again next month as required by state law.

The board also discussed proposed changes to the school assignments for the 2022-2023 school year which will affect hundreds of students. If you want to know whether your child could be affected, click here.

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