Bladen County School Board votes to not require masks at school

North Carolina news

(Christopher Dolan/The Times-Tribune via AP)

ELIZABETHTOWN, N.C. (WNCN) – Bladen County’s school board voted 5-4 Monday to not require students to wear a mask while in school.

Bladen County Schools Board of Education voted on a motion that strongly encourages masks for students and staff and only requires them when riding a bus.

Bladen County Schools Superintendent Jason Atkinson presented four options pertaining to masks and the reopening of schools.

Bladen County Schools listed those options as:

Option A: Masks would be required for all students and staff, regardless of their vaccination status. The only exceptions would be for outdoor activities and athletic participation. Specific guidelines are being developed to govern masks and COVID-19 protocols for athletics. All students and staff would be required to wear masks when riding a bus. This option would be reviewed on a monthly basis.

Option B: Masks would be required for all students and staff, unless they have been fully vaccinated. The only exceptions would be for outdoor activities and athletic participation. Specific guidelines are being developed to govern masks and COVID-19 protocols for athletics. All students and staff would be required to wear masks when riding a bus. This option would be reviewed on a monthly basis.

Option C: Masks would be strongly encouraged for students, but not required. Staff would be required to wear masks unless they have been fully vaccinated. All students and staff would be required to wear masks when riding a bus.

Option D: Masks would be strongly encouraged for students and staff, but not required. All students and staff would be required to wear masks when riding a bus.

The Board voted on a motion for Option D with an added clause requiring masks in hallways. That motion failed by a 5-4 vote.

A second motion was made for Option A. That also failed by a 5-4 vote.

The third and final motion was for Option D with no additional requirements.

It passed.

All students and staff would be required to wear masks when riding a bus.

The adoption goes into effect Aug. 10 for the 2021-22 school year.

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