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Some Union County parents pleased with choice on masks for kids in school

The Union County Public Schools district has chosen to allow parents the choice of having their kids wear masks this year.

UNION COUNTY, N.C. — It was a busy day at the Poplin Place Mall off Highway 74 in Monroe Sunday afternoon as parents and students were out picking up last-minute, back-to-school items.

Parents could also purchase masks for their children to wear this school year. That's because Union County Public Schools voted to make masks optional this year, leaving it up to parents to make that decision.

"I'm excited, they're ready too," Kimberlee Radspiner said. 

As for the choice of whether her kids would wear masks, Radspiner said yes, they'd wear face coverings. 

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"I feel it's up to the parents and what they feel, as for mine they will be wearing masks," she said.

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The district has chosen to allow parents the choice of having their kids wear masks this year.

"They're definitely going to wear masks, I would feel more comfortable if they did," said a father of two elementary students. "Honestly, there's a lot of kids and school closings because of COVID-19, so definitely, I prefer them to wear masks."

As has been the case since last semester, Union County students won't go through temperature checks at school. Also, schools won't offer remote learning for students from kindergarten through eighth grade. Remote learning is available for high school students. 

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WCNC Charlotte spoke to parents who say while they are concerned about the surge in COVID-19 cases they're also pleased with the district giving them the right to choose.

RELATED: LIST: K-12 schools in Charlotte-area districts mask, vaccine and remote learning decisions

Gail Coffee said her son would be wearing a mask, although she and her family have chosen not to be vaccinated. 

"As for me and my house, we are going to serve the Lord. We're not going to take the shots but we are going to wear a mask," Coffee said. "If that means we can't go nowhere, we can't go shopping, we can't go to the grocery store, we're just going to be at home."

RELATED: 'I really don't understand parents who are so excited about this school year' | Parents on edge after CMS and other school districts prepare to return

Coffee added that she is not worried about her son coming into contact with other students whose parents have chosen to not have their children wear masks. 

"He's covered, he's educated about COVID, he knows how to wear his mask," she said.

Contact Richard DeVayne at rdevayne@wcnc.com and follow him on Facebook and Twitter.

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