Union County parents protesting for face masks in class as more than 5,000 students are in quarantine


UNION COUNTY, N.C. (FOX 46 CHARLOTE) – The Union County School Board is meeting Tuesday night to review its mask policy and quarantine guidelines after more than 5,000 students are in quarantine right now.

Union County is one of the only districts in North Carolina where masks are not required.

Students don’t have to quarantine in North Carolina if they come in close contact with someone who’s positive for COVID if both the student and the COVID-positive person were wearing masks.

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Kiley Petras isn’t used to sitting on the sidelines.

“It’s frustrating honestly because I’m stuck at home. I’m not able to do anything,” said Petras.

She’s missing out on playing with her team

“Volleyball is honestly my life. I’ve been doing it since I think the fifth grade,” she said.

But she’s also missing the classroom.

“I didn’t even get through my first week of school,” she said.

The freshman at Marvin Ridge High School doesn’t have any COVID symptoms, but she’s quarantined for two weeks because someone in one of her classes tested positive for COVID.

More than 5,400 quarantined after 367 people test positive for COVID in Union County Schools

Kiley says she has been given homework by her teachers, but there’s no option for her to Zoom in to any of her classes or ask questions live to her teachers.

“There are multiple assignments. I just don’t understand especially for math, it’s just the homework. If I’m learning something new, how am I supposed to know what it is?” she said.

Kiley’s mom wants more than just homework assignments for her daughter.

“Mentally it’s not ok for the kids, emotionally it’s frustrating,” said Kristen Petras.

She’s frustrated that there’s no real virtual option for her daughter during quarantine.

COVID-19 causes chaos in Carolina classrooms

“She’s not only bored, but she misses being at school with that interaction. That’s where she thrives.”

Mom and daughter are hoping the school board makes changes for thousands of students in quarantine.

“I do not think that the options they’re giving are fair to these kids. I do not think they’re looking into what it’s doing mentally to them,” said Kristen Petras.

FOX 46 reached out to Union County Public Schools. The district says students are assigned work by their teachers during quarantine, but Kiley and her mom want virtual learning when students are forced to quarantine.

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