Wilson County parents voice mixed opinions on mask-wearing prior to first day of school

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WILSON COUNTY, Tenn. (WKRN) — Amber Reese is the mother of a rising Wilson County 5th grader. When her 10-year-old son, Major, goes back to school at Springdale Elementary later this week she said he will be wearing a mask to protect him from coronavirus.

“We’ve had lots of conversations with him about keeping his mask on even if his classmates do not have theirs on,” Reese said. “With Delta, it’s especially made me cautious because 12 and under aren’t able to be vaccinated right now.”

Last month the Wilson County School Board decided masks would be optional for the upcoming school year. But as the Delta variant spreads, some parents like Reese want them to be mandated.

Monday Morning Speaker of the Tennessee House, Cameron Sexton, said if districts begin closing schools or issuing mask mandates he’ll ask Governor Bill Lee to hold a special session.

“I think if you talk to parents, parents should be the ones that make the decision for their kids if they wear them to school or not to school,” Speaker Sexton said.

The same topic was discussed at length Monday night at the last Wilson County School Board meeting prior to the first day of school. Parents had strong, mixed opinions and messages for board members.

These were some of the public comments made at the podium:

“Masks are a necessary part of the equation.”

“I ask that you please give parents the opportunity to choose what is best for their children.”

“I will be walking into Wilson Central high school for my freshman year with no mask!”

“They don’t live in my house. They don’t parent my kid. And they ain’t making the decisions for me and my child!”

At the end of Monday night’s meeting, Wilson County School’s Director Jeff Luttrell said their previous vote still stands. Masks will still be optional when school starts on Thursday.

But, Luttrell said the board would reconvene if they feel stronger mask recommendations need to be made prior to their next scheduled board meeting.

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