Randolph County School System set to discuss mask mandate


RANDOLPH COUNTY, N.C. (WGHP) — The Randolph County School System Board of Education is set to decide whether or not students and teachers will continue to mask up.

Board members will discuss the mask policy at a special called meeting at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday night.

The community is still very divided on the issue.

“I don’t think the government needs to mandate something like that,” said Dave Brown, who lives in Randolph County. “I think it needs to be up to the individual parents to make their own choices as to how their kid feels.”

The school district started with masks optional and saw a quick jump in COVID cases. The school board then made cloth face coverings mandatory on Aug. 29. The case numbers among students and teachers have continued to trend down since then.

“Just wear the mask until everyone gets vaccinated,” said Whitney Coble, a Randolph County parent.

Coble decided to homeschool one of her children when families got the option to go back to the classroom in the fall. Optional masking means tougher decisions for her other children.

“My son, I tell him every time when you go to school, you have siblings at home. You have to wear yours regardless to make me feel like my kid is going to be safe when he comes home,” Coble said.

Others feel like forcing kids to mask is a losing battle.

“The kids want to share everything anyways. You give them one mask, and they come home with somebody else’s mask,” said Emily Phillips, a Randolph County parent.

The public health director for Randolph County spoke with the superintendent and the board chairman and recommended the system continue mandatory masking.

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