Masks now required for Iredell-Statesville students

Published: Aug. 31, 2021 at 4:30 PM EDT|Updated: Aug. 31, 2021 at 10:45 PM EDT
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STATESVILLE, N.C. (WBTV) - Masks will now be required in Iredell-Statesville schools, starting Sept. 2.

The board of education met in an emergency meeting Aug. 31. The vote passed 4-2.

About 201 students are currently isolated with coronavirus symptoms, according to an update provided by the district. During the meeting, board members noted the bulk of those cases came from community--not school--spread. This is about 1-percent of the student population.

The district says 583 students are quarantined from school contact, this is 2.58-percent of the student population.

Up until now, masks were optional. The first day of school was August 23.

[Masks are optional, up to parental choice in Iredell-Statesville Schools]

The mandate will be evaluated monthly.

Sri Gerschler’s Daughter had COVID last year. She pulled her children from ISS right before the first day of school because of the optional policy she and other parents pushed to become mandatory.

“I had been emailing the board since the summertime because my daughter had COVID in November and I needed to know that masking was going to be mandatory because for her she was in the hospital with COVID and she has long term side effects,” Gerschler said.

Christina Anderson’s daughter is in ninth grade in Iredell-Statesville Schools. She says she feels the mask mandate is overstepping her rights as a parent.

“I don’t see where anybody else knows what’s best for a person’s child other than the parent,” Anderson said.

Anderson says one person’s decision to not wear a mask shouldn’t affect the other.

“The mask policy should still be optional. I don’t see where one child without a mask is a risk to a child with a mask,” Anderson said.

When it comes to quarantining - state health guidance for public schools says if all children are wearing masks but come in close contact with a positive student they **don’t have to quarantine as long as they don’t have symptoms

That’s why Gerschler says she thinks time was of the essence for this decision that she thinks should’ve been made weeks ago.

“One hundred percent too late,” Gerschler said.

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