Wyoming County Board of Education votes in favor of mask mandate in schools

PINEVILLE, WV (WOAY) – A sea of parents waiting to voice their opinions to the Wyoming County Board of Education at Tuesday’s meeting.

The reason? The topic of requiring masks in schools is at the top of the agenda.

“Why do you feel like, a few weeks ago, it was our decision,” said Parent Nathan Walker. “And now it’s not.”

So far this school year, parents have had the choice of whether to mask their kids in school. Almost everyone speaking in front of the board on Tuesday wants to keep it that way.

“Parents should have that freedom to choose how their kid is taken care of,” said Parent Savannah Lambert.

“They need to see facial expressions,” added Parent Cinnamon Blankenship.

Not everyone is against a mandate, though. Diane Brooks-Smith, a nurse who works in the county, is pleading with the parents to consider children who aren’t eligible to be vaccinated.

“It’s the 0 to 11, that can’t do anything, but listen to what the parents say,” Brooks-Smith said.

After listening to the public for over an hour, Superintendent Deirdre Cline is advising board members to vote in favor of this mandate, recommended by the State Department, in order to increase chances of keeping students in person.

“Masks must be worn by all students and employees during the school day at all times, except when eating,” Cline said. “Regardless of vaccine status, unless students or employees have a medical excuse not to wear a mask.”

The board voting 4-1 in favor of the mandate. Board members will re-assess the mandate at every mid-month meeting going forward.

The mandate will go into effect on Thursday, Sept. 9.

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PINEVILLE, WV (WOAY) – The Wyoming County Board of Education votes to install a mask mandate for all schools in the county.

The Board of Education voted 4-1 in favor of the mandate during Tuesday’s meeting. Members of the public were in attendance and several expressed their opinions to the Board before the vote.

The mandate will take effect Thursday morning.

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