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New Hanover County School Board votes to keep mask mandate

Published: Nov. 15, 2021 at 6:12 PM EST
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WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - The New Hanover County School Board voted to keep the mask mandate during their special meeting held on Monday afternoon.

The mask mandate has gathered a lot of pushback from the community since the school board made them mandatory back in August. Vice-Chair Nelson Beaulieu reminding board members about that during Monday evening’s meeting.

“Every time you do this, you know, to people, and say here’s the end point, here’s the end point, here’s the end point, you create a lot of frustration around false expectations,” said Beaulieu.

The vote passed by 5-2, with the two dissenting votes from Wildeboer and Beaulieu.

“Parents will have the choice. I think we are losing that whole concept here. If I want to mask my child, then I can mask my child. We’re not saying no masks in school. We’re saying simply that, we as a board, are not medical doctors,” said Wildeboer.

Board members who voted to keep the masks mandatory in schools also stated they wanted to keep the mandate until January, when students come back from holiday break.

“When the kids come back to school January 6th, that will have already been 2 weeks out from the Christmas holiday. So potentially, if there was an exposure, it would have already been discovered during that time,” said Board Chair Stefanie Adams.

Under Governor Roy Cooper’s orders, school boards must vote monthly on their mask policies. The school board pushed off last week’s vote until the health board made their decision on masks last Friday, and they voted to end the mask mandate for New Hanover County.

Masks have been voted on by the school board to be required every month since school started in August. The school board will take their next vote on December 7th.

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