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Marion County Board of Education discusses masking at special meeting

Published: Aug. 10, 2021 at 11:07 PM EDT
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FAIRMONT, W.Va (WDTV) - Marion County Board of Education’s special meeting was packed as Marion County Health Administrator, Lloyd White gave his suggestions on how to approach the new school year.

White told the board he felt that students being vaccinated was the best precaution to take for reducing transmission of the virus.

However, he was aware not all students could be vaccinated due to their age.

“Those who don’t qualify or aren’t eligible for the vaccine can be very vigilant. Take control by simply wearing masks, maintaining social distancing, avoiding crowded areas and practicing good hand hygiene,” White said.

White recommended wearing masks even if students were vaccinated. He said people could still transmit the virus if they were vaccinated, but wearing a mask decreased the chance of that occurring.

Many parents came to the meeting to share their opinions on masking in school.

One parent, Lori DeVault started an online petition that had over signatures. The petition encouraged the board not to create a mask mandate within Marion County Schools.

“To some a mask might make them feel safe. To those I have no judgement. I encourage them to do what makes them feel safe and wear the mask. To others, like my son a mask does not make him feel safe. In fact it is the exact opposite,” she shared.

Another parent, Nicole Walls told the board she felt that in order to keep students in person all year they needed to make compromises.

“My child isn’t vaccinated, your children aren’t vaccinated. They can’t be. They are at risk and I’ve got messages from students and teachers concerned about our elementary students,” Walls said.

There was no official decision made in the meeting and masks remained optional for the new school year.

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