Parents frustrated over CMS decision to require face masks this school year


CHARLOTTE, N.C. (FOX 46 CHARLOTTE) – Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools are one of the first school districts to require masks for the upcoming school year. Parents did not have a chance for public comment at the meeting Friday morning, but they still spoke up.

While some school boards have given parents a choice on masks, CMS is not.

“We didn’t have an opportunity to speak, these are our children,” one mom said as she left the chambers of the Government Center after the meeting Friday.

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Parents interrupted the meeting multiple times to try and speak out against masks in schools.

“Kids aren’t contracting it by and large and they aren’t transmitting it, so why are we wearing masks?” asked Lisa Bixon, a CMS parent, after the meeting.

The CMS board voted 8 to 1 to require masks for everyone inside school buildings and on buses this school year. CMS says it is following guidance, which says students are not required to quarantine if they’re exposed to COVID at school, if they’ve been masking properly.

CMS to require masks indoors for upcoming school year as COVID cases surge

“We anticipate keeping in-person learning all year. In fact, the legislature has taken away our ability to go to remote, so it is incumbent upon us to keep our kids and staff safe,” said Elyse Dashew, CMS School Board Chair.

Dashew said they consulted with medical professionals and used recently updated guidance from the CDC.

Dawne Cornelius, a CMSs parent and substitute teacher, agrees with the decision to require masks.

“I’ve had family members who had COVID and they didn’t have as long-term effects, but I’ve had students who are still feeling the effects of COVID-19,” said Cornelius.

SCHOOLS & MASKS: List of decisions on wearing masks for each local NC school district

The CMS board voted to review masks at the end of each academic quarter, or sooner, if the metrics and guidance dictate.

The superintendent said the district might consider having unvaccinated employees tested frequently, but no decision was made Friday regarding that.

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