Masks optional starting Thursday for Hickory Public Schools. | Education

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Carson also said the school system should continue to provide masks for anyone who wants to wear one. Board member Sarah Temple said she would like the district to reiterate the other safety measures it is taking. School superintendent Bryan Taylor said the information will be shared during the district’s monthly COVID-19 update at the next board meeting.

Council Chairman Bryan Graham said he is proud of the district for its consistency throughout this school year when it comes to masks and COVID-19 protocols.

“With the toolkit and the way it was written, masking kept kids in school,” he said. “It didn’t matter if we wanted kids not to wear masks or for masks to be optional, because I think that opinion may have differed. The #1 goal of this council has been to keep the kids in school. I think with the change in the toolkit and with the change in the virus itself, right now is the time to make masks optional.

There was no time set aside for public comment during the meeting. There will be a moment for public comment at the next meeting of the board of trustees which will take place at 6:30 p.m. Monday in the auditorium of Grandview Middle School.

“I kind of wish we had waited until Monday to make this decision, the more I thought about it, just because of the public comment section,” Temple said. “On the other hand, it (the mask policy) has been on our agenda every month throughout the school year as an item of discussion and action. We have discussed and acted on it every month and no one came to talk to us.

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