Mask mandate fails in Lee County School Board vote

A vote by Lee County School Board to mandate masks in response to rising COVID-19 cases in Lee County schools failed Tuesday during a packed school board meeting.

School board members listened to more than 80 public speakers on the agenda item before the vote failed 5-1. Board member Betsy Vaughn was in favor of the mask mandate. Board member Gwyn Gittens was not present for the vote, while all other fellow board members dissented.

The majority of parents and community members who spoke to the board were against the mandate. A few school district employees were also among the large number of public commenters.

Public commenters largely agreed it was up to parents to decide whether their child wears a mask to school, rather than by school board decision.

Monday, school board members received advice about how to handle the rise in COVID-19 cases among students during a workshop ahead of the mask mandate being added as an agenda item with public comment to the Tuesday board meeting.

Reporter:Dannielle Garcia
Writer:Jack Lowenstein
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