With no objection, Wilson County School Board opts to continue mask mandate

COVID-19 and schools

WILSON, N.C. (WNCN) – While several school board meetings in central North Carolina have turned contentious, the Wilson County Board of Education voted to continue its mask mandate without issue Monday night.

The vaccination rate in the county is among the lowest in the state and masks remain controversial.

The extended mandate means students and staff will have to wear face coverings in school buildings and on the bus.

No one spoke out against it.

“We have had some members of the community express displeasure about us having a mandate,” she admits.

Fitch also pointed to the COVID-19 metrics as a reason the meeting went smoothly.

According to the Wilson County Health Department, more than 11 percent of tests are coming back positive.

The vaccination rate is one of the lowest in the state at just 43 percent.

The district said 380 students and 11 staff members are in quarantine. But, if masks weren’t required, the numbers would likely be much higher.

“Expressed individual concern but have gone along with our decision,” she said.

The board was also expected to discuss a proposal that would allow staff to search a student’s cell phone if they’re suspected of breaking school rules or the law. The school could look for evidence, including their text messages and photos. It was brought up during the last meeting and was met with opposition from parents.

“I’m going to wait until I hear the recommendations brought back by our legal counsel,” Fitch said.

The staff is still reviewing it at the request of the board. It’s unclear when it will be brought back to the board for their consideration.

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