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Lynchburg City School Board votes to keep mask mandate in place

Coronavirus

LYNCHBURG, Va. (WFXR) — A hot topic in Lynchburg on Tuesday night was whether or not to require students and staff to wear masks while inside city schools.

During the school board meeting on Tuesday, Aug. 3, members voted 7-2 in favor of keeping the mask mandate which means that all students and staff will be required to keep their masks on while inside any facility belonging to Lynchburg City Schools.

Parents, students and community members showed up to the meeting to voice their opinion on the matter.

“A mask mandate for students is a violation on Constitutional rights of personal freedoms and liberties,” said Andrew Glover of the Conservative Parents of Lynchburg. “Quite simply put, a mask mandate by a government agency such as the school system without a state of emergency is legal.”

Jeffery Wooters, a student at E.C. Glass High School voiced his concerns by saying, “We know with this surge of the Delta variant that is even infecting vaccinated people that we now have to be even more cautious than we were in the first place. They are now our best tool to reduce transmission. They catch the particles and they keep everybody else safe and they keep you from spreading it to everybody else.”

Superintendent Dr. Crystal Edwards says that she has been in constant contact with their director of student services who also spoke during Tuesday night’s meeting. According to Dr. Edwards, they have been taking the recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the school board and the Virginia Department of Health.

Her final conclusion was that it is better for everyone to continue wearing masks while inside schools regardless of their vaccination status.

Dr. Edwards says this wasn’t something they wanted to do but due to the recent uptick in cases, it is better to err on the side of caution to help keep students and faculty safe.

The board says they plan to revisit this topic as CDC recommendations change.

The school year begins Wednesday, Aug. 11 in Lynchburg.

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