Adams went on to say that the primary reason for supporting this recommendation was to keep our students in school and place their safety above all else. Adams also shared that according to the new guidance from CDC and NCDHHS if 2 students are wearing masks and one is positive because they both wore masks the non-infected student does not have to quarantine. She also stated that regardless of the board’s decision due to CDC Mandates on Transportation Face Coverings would still have to be worn by Bus Drivers and passengers.
Following Adams statement, the sole opposition to the recommendation, Brandon Johnson spoke. During his brief comments, Johnson stated that “he believed that children need normalcy this year and not mandates.” He went on to share that “we were told to vaccinate and the masks would come off but here we are again issuing another mandate.” Johnson encouraged the board to vote their conscience and really search for the right option for our kids. He closed with “Look around the room, not a single one of us is wearing a mask and yet we are putting in place this mandate, we need to lead by example.”
Following Johnson’s statement, board member Joey Rackley made a motion that the board follow the guidance of the NCDHHS StrongSchoolsNC recommendations that all students and staff in grades K-13 (Early College) wear Face Coverings while indoors during the school day. Mr. Joe Smith seconded that motion. The Vote was 4-1 with Adams, Rackley, Smith, and Batts voting in favor and Johnson being the sole dissenting voice.
Following the vote Mr. Smith shared that he was undecided going into this meeting but that “I chose to vote in favor due to the safety of our kids and that should always be our priority.” Mr. Smith made a motion to adjourn the meeting, seconded by Mr. Johnson.
At the conclusion of the meeting Chair Adams did state that the board would revisit this item periodically throughout the school year.