Parents respond as local school systems decide mask requirements

Back To School

WASHINGTON COUNTY, Tenn. (WJHL) – After Washington County School Board officials decided to make masks optional for students and staff, one Washington County parent is asking them to reconsider.

“Our 6-year-old is really excited about starting first grade and really needs that contact and interaction,” Hicks said. “I’m hoping that I can trust that the school system can provide a safe environment.”

Teresa Hicks, the mother of two Washington County Schools children, is concerned about sending her youngest son, Jacob, back into the classroom without a mask requirement because he is too young to be vaccinated.

“Seeing the new CDC guidelines come out yesterday, and knowing that the current recommendations in Washington County don’t match those, I just wanted to reach out,” Hicks said.

“Everyone that I’ve talked to in Washington County is excited about the opportunity to start in-person and hopeful that we can continue to do so throughout the year,” Washington County, Tennessee Director of Schools Jerry Boyd said.

While Boyd said many are happy to start the school year off in person on Monday, he’s heard from many parents who disagree on whether or not masks should be required.

“What we have released, we’re going to move forward with, but as information does change, and our view of our local conditions and status of the level of COVID possibly changes and increases,” Boyd said. “We’ll have to make some adjustments.”

“I would love it if they could come to a resolution before school starts, just so that we start out with a consistent standard going in,” Hicks said.

The next scheduled school board meeting will be Thursday, August 5 at 5:30 p.m.

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