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Lynchburg City School Board meeting gets heated over mask requirements

Lynchburg & Central Virginia News

LYNCHBURG, Va. (WFXR) — The Lynchburg City School Board meeting on Tuesday started off heated before the school officials even took their seats.

The school board required people to wear masks inside the building, but three people attended the meeting on Tuesday, Sept. 7 without a mask.

WFXR News’ Amanda Lee was inside the meeting when Conservative Parents of Lynchburg representative, Andrew Glover, refused to wear a mask, and police were called. Board member Dr. James Coleman asked politely for Glover to leave. Police didn’t end up arresting Glover because he says he has religious and medical reasons for not wearing a mask.

There was another person who also cited a medical exemption. Meanwhile, an officer asked the third person to leave, so that person left quietly.

Glover says masks shouldn’t be required during public meetings or in schools.

“True and accurate science will never infringe on freedoms and liberty,” Glover said when speaking to the board.

Other community members who stepped to the podium to address this topic disagreed with Glover, with one community member saying, “If y’all say it’s mandatory to wear masks and they can’t wear them, tell them to go home.”

“We must require masks and we must require vaccinations,” said Jeffrey W., a senior at E.C. Glass High School, as he addressed the board. “That is the only way we can beat this pandemic.”

According to the Lynchburg City School Board, the district averages about five new cases every five days. In response, school officials are increasing their efforts with contact tracing.

Lynchburg City Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Crystal Edwards told attendees more teachers and principals are now making calls to parents to tell them their children could have come in contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19.

“This is an ongoing thing. Almost every day we have a conversation with the building,” said Dr. Edwards. “As you can imagine, COVID doesn’t care. It goes into the night, past the workday, sometimes nine o’clock at night. It is not convenient for families sometimes when we have to make those calls.”

No decisions were made at Tuesday night’s meeting — which you can watch by clicking this link — but the school board plans to meet again on Oct. 5.

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