Augusta County joins other Valley schools masking up

Published: Aug. 6, 2021 at 4:24 PM EDT
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AUGUSTA COUNTY, Va. (WHSV) - Augusta County students will head to school on Tuesday, August 10 wearing masks.

The school board met Thursday night to discuss their back-to-school plan, and members talked about a statewide mandate that says schools must follow what the CDC recommends.

The first day of school for Harrisonburg last academic year.
The first day of school for Harrisonburg last academic year.(WHSV)

The school board says last week masks would be optional, but they made the change to comply with the law.

Many parents are frustrated, but all for different reasons.

Some parents are upset their kids will have to wear masks in school. They say since children aren’t as likely to get severely ill with COVID-19, they shouldn’t have to wear masks.

However, other parents are upset because of how the meeting was conducted. Ryan Parkhust is one of them.

Parkhurst’s kids go to school in Augusta County, and he says he was upset at how board members acted. He says the members passed the blame to state lawmakers, with many saying the leaders should be voted out.

“In one breath, they would say, ‘this is nonpolitical,’ but in the other breath they would say, ‘get the democrats out of there,’” said Parkhurst.

He says he appreciates others’ point of view but didn’t understand the need for politics in a school board meeting.

“It was very depressing and defeating to hear they all would have voted to keep masks optional, despite all of the statistics in all of the surrounding counties doing otherwise,” he said.

He says he understands not wanting your child to wear a mask.

“I completely get it, as a parent. I don’t want my kids to wear masks. I have no interest in them wearing masks in schools.”

Thursday’s meeting comes after Staunton and Waynesboro schools updated their mask guidelines to reflect CDC recommendations. Coverage of Thursday night’s meeting can be found here.

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