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Brunswick County Schools seeks feedback about face masks

Published: Jul. 26, 2021 at 4:43 PM EDT|Updated: Jul. 27, 2021 at 3:41 PM EDT
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BOLIVIA, N.C. (WECT) - Brunswick County Schools posted a link to a survey on Twitter and Facebook Monday to gauge feedback from parents about the use of face coverings inside school buildings ahead of the start of the 2021-22 school year.

“Whenever there’s any decision in play, whether you’re in a pandemic or it’s yesteryear when it felt a little more normal, when decisions are being made, you have to keep in mind that the end result has to focus on the best interest of the students,” said Daniel Seamans, spokesperson for Brunswick County Schools.

The results of the brief survey will be taken into consideration by school board members when they make a decision about COVID protocols for the upcoming school year. School board chair Harry Lemon says the board will also consider the NC toolkit and the current and predicted future COVID-19 situation for Brunswick County as reported by the health department when making their decision at the August 9 school board meeting.

In the parent survey, parents and guardians can choose from three options for the potential back-to-school mask policy: masks required for all students and staff, masks optional for all students and staff, or masks required for all students and unvaccinated staff in elementary schools only.

“Those are just potential options,” said Seamans. “It could end up being the decision that they come up with could be one of those, it could be a variant of those. I think the overall goal is to use as many resources as you can.”

Many parents are split on the issue. Some shared sanitary concerns about students wearing masks, saying their kids were uncomfortable last year and would take their masks off throughout the day and sometimes come home with another student’s mask that they had traded theirs for. Other parents say they hope the board decides to require masks, claiming other school districts have had problems with COVID-19 breakouts when students were not masked.

Families are asked to submit one survey per household and an email address is required to complete the survey. Staff members are also asked to complete a survey to share their thoughts.

“You need to make sure you get feedback from all the parties involved,” said Seamans. “In this case, parties involved are parents and guardians, also your staff and students.”

“We wanted to know how our teachers viewed this situation since many of them will be in contact daily with unvaccinated children,” said Lemon.

Brunswick County Schools also shared its quarantine guidelines as per the NCDHHS.

Quarantine is required for individuals that have been in close contact (within six feet for at least 15 minutes cumulatively over a 24-hour period) of someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 with the following exceptions:

1) Individuals who are fully vaccinated and do not have symptoms do NOT need to quarantine after a close contact.

2) People who have tested positive for COVID-19 within the past 3 months and recovered and do not have symptoms do NOT have to quarantine.

3) Students who are not fully vaccinated after a close contact in a classroom or other school setting if masks were being worn appropriately and consistently by both the person with COVID-19 and the potentially exposed person do NOT need to quarantine.

Click here to complete the parent survey in English.

Click here to complete the parent survey in Spanish.

There is also a staff survey on the Brunswick County Schools website here.

Survey responses are due August 1.

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