ASHEBORO — The Randolph County School Board adopted a resolution Monday night ending mask mandates in the county’s largest school system for the 2021-2022 school year. The resolution, adopted unanimously by the board, is effective immediately which allows teachers and students currently in summer school programs to make their own choices regarding mask usage. The new board policy cites CDC guidance and the board’s concern for individuals’ rights to make decisions regarding their own personal health in making the change. The resolution also said harassment, discrimination, bullying, or intimidation based a person’s decision to wear or not wear a mask would not be tolerated.
“It’s a big day for Randolph County Schools,” said board chairman Gary Cook following the unanimous vote. “We were one of the first school systems to step out last year and go to school when a lot of systems didn’t and we made a decision tonight that not a lot of school systems can make.”
The resolution referenced Gov. Roy Cooper’s executive orders and noted that his June 11, 2021, order rescinded the statewide mask mandate for indoor activities with only a few exceptions. The board expressed their position that promoting in-person learning, and not enforcement of mask mandates, is critical to education and health of the children of Randolph County.
The Asheboro City Board of Education will likely take up the question of mask mandates at their August 12 meeting, according to the school board’s press office.