NC Health Officials Say Students K-8 & Teachers Should Wear Masks In The Classroom

CHARLOTTE, NC. — As a CMS parent, Carolyn McGrath says her focus is making sure her two children can learn in a classroom environment.
“Last year was really hard when we couldn’t be there, and hopefully, it’ll be just a temporary adjustment until the vaccine is available for all ages, and that requirement will change at least that’s what I’m hopeful for,” McGrath says.

Wednesday, Governor Roy Cooper announced the statewide mask mandate would expire at the end of the month. But new guidance from the state strongly recommends school districts require masks for students and teachers in kindergarten through eighth grade. Unvaccinated high school students are recommended to wear masks while at school. Ultimately, it is up to the individual districts to make the final call. State health officials say 24% of kids age 12 to17 are vaccinated.

“But many students can’t get their shot because children under 12 can’t be vaccinated yet. We all need to work together to keep our young children in the classroom and safe,” Governor Cooper says.

CMS 7th grade English teacher Justin Parmenter says he’s disappointed the governor is making it the responsibility of local school boards to make policy decisions.

“To me, it just seems like really poor timing to be relaxing standers. Especially as school districts are all trying to make preparations for how the school year will run logistically,” says Parmenter.

Steve Oreskovic teaches 8th grade in CMS. His message to the Board of Education:

“The easiest way to keep us in school the longest is to simply mask up, so we’re in person,” Oreskovic says.

WCCB reached out to several CMS school board members and district spokespeople to determine what the district will choose to do. We have not gotten any responses.