Breaking News
More () »

Cabarrus County Schools students head back to class with masks required

The Cabarrus County Board of Education originally voted for masks to be optional but changed its decision a week before the start of school, making masks required.

CABARRUS COUNTY, N.C. — Students in Cabarrus County headed back to school Monday.

The Cabarrus County Board of Education originally decided to make masks optional for the upcoming school year but voted to change that decision a week before the start of school.

Students, staff, and visitors will be required to wear face coverings indoors, including school and activity buses, unless actively eating, according to Cabarrus County Schools safety guidelines.

MORE NEWS: Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine, now fully FDA approved, will be known as Comirnaty

“I do think in the beginning of the year, it's the right thing to do based on the information that we have right now today was to provide masks for our kids and to allow them to walk into school with that extra protection,” said Dr. John Kopicki, superintendent of schools for Cabarrus County Schools.

Board members offered a variety of opinions on the mask issue as they discussed the possibilities in recent weeks.

“We’re teaching our children to be terrified,” said Laura Blackwell, Cabarrus County Board of Education member. “We have made these poor kids believe that if they spread this virus - by the way, they’ve shown to be the least spreaders - that they could kill their grandparents.”

“I am voting for masks in the schools because I want these kids to stay in school five days a week,” said Denise Adcock, Cabarrus County Board of Education member. “I want them to get educated.”

'It's going to cause a lot of confusion' | Millions of student loans will be without servicers at the end of 2021

Kopicki said the district will be watching the COVID-19 data closely and following the NCDHHS toolkit for schools for quarantine guidelines if necessary.

"We're hoping that we can subdue the virus and not spread it and not create an atmosphere and an environment where it's not tolerable to be in school,” said Kopicki.

This is the third school year that students have been impacted by the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Kopicki said he is hopeful students will be able to take the masks off at some point and return to normalcy.

“I would encourage people to be patient and kind to one another, and I think if we work together and are collaborative in our efforts, we will get through this,” added Kopicki.

According to Cabarrus County Schools, the mask issue will be addressed at the next business meeting by the school board with guidance from the COVID-19 Task Force and recommendation by the superintendent. 

Contact Kendall Morris at kmorris2@wcnc.com and follow her on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

Click here to sign up for the daily Wake Up Charlotte newsletter 

Before You Leave, Check This Out