Area school districts decide on whether to keep mask mandates

Local News

WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — In a board meeting Wednesday, Vernon school leaders voted 5-1 to keep their mask mandate as is.

Students and staff have been required to wear masks since school started back as per the Center for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines, but in March the Texas Education Agency left the decision up to school boards to decide their local mask policy.

Since then, multiple school districts have been discussing what’s the best step to take for their students and staff.

Vernon Independent School District’s superintendent Jeff Byrd said after much consideration, they made a decision they felt would keep them the safest.

“Right now the rewards won’t worth the risks, we want to be able to graduate we want specifically our seniors to be able to have as normal a remainder of the year as we can,” Byrd said.

“There was a great conversation, it was not a quick-rushed decision, they took input and they took the data that was provided and they made the decision that we felt as a district will keep us the safest in regards to our students and our staff and allow us to continue to be operational.”

Others though, like Graham, Harrold, and Archer City ISDs have decided to make masks optional for students and staff.

Wichita Falls Independent School District officials said a decision regarding this topic has not been made and won’t be until later this summer.

Since Clay County did not have a mask mandate, staff and students at Bellevue ISD were not required to wear masks.

Now however, they have adopted a policy making it optional for students.

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