Judge: NC school boards don’t have to mandate masks

Kate Martin, Carolina Public Press

The Lincoln County Board of Education may continue its mask-optional policy throughout its school district, a judge ruled Thursday afternoon.

Superior Court Judge James Morgan declined to issue a temporary restraining order that would require the district to enforce a mask mandate for students, staff and visitors to their schools.

Masks became optional for students in the district on Wednesday after a 4-3 vote by the board earlier in the month. Parents of 13 children sued the board, saying it was not considering the effects that a lack of masks would have on their children and extended families.

Some said they have elders living at home or were worried their children would be bullied if they wore masks. Disability Rights North Carolina joined the parents in their lawsuit.

DRNC supervising attorney Ginny Fogg said she is disappointed with the judge’s decision.

“We are particularly concerned about its effect on Lincoln County students with disabilities and their families, as we know many students with disabilities are at far greater risk of complications from COVID-19,” Fogg said.

Read more at Carolina Public Press.

This story was produced by the Charlotte Journalism Collaborative, a partnership of six media companies working together in an effort started by the Solutions Journalism Network and funded by The Knight Foundation.