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Lincoln County judge postpones court decision on masking in schools

For now, Lincoln County schools will return to optional masking until the judge announces his decision on Thursday.

LINCOLN COUNTY, N.C. — A long-awaited decision on whether or not the courts could challenge Lincoln County Schools' choice to switch back to masks-optional is once again on the backburner.

Tuesday afternoon, the judge chose not to announce an order just yet, but instead take some time to consider until Thursday. 

During Tuesday's court hearing, the judge heard from attorneys representing concerned pro-mask parents, as well as legal representatives for the school board. Both argued their stance on why masks in schools should be a must or a choice.

"The guidance is to wear the mask from the state and then it says if the state doesn’t do it then we’ll go with the CDC and the CDC says wear the mask, so they’re not following their own policies," Luke Largess, an attorney representing Lincoln County parents, said.

But the other side does not agree.

"The state has only directed it to adopt one particular control measure regarding quarantine and it has not directed it to mandate face requirements," K. Dean Shatley II, an attorney representing the Lincoln County school board, said.

Some parents also argued it's not only about the health and safety of the students, but the larger community as well.

“I just would be glad if we as a community didn’t even depend on the judge to make this decision but we could just think about each other," Lincoln County parent Joy Smith said.

While the judge is waiting to announce his decision until Thursday afternoon, students at Lincoln County Schools will return to masks optional starting Wednesday.

Contact Briana Harper at bharper@wcnc.com and follow her on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

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