Spotsylvania Co. gives parents choice on masks in classrooms

Virginia’s Spotsylvania County is the latest in the D.C. region to reach a decision about wearing masks in the classroom.

The Spotsylvania County Public School Board said students will not be required to wear masks in school. Instead, it’ll be up to parents to make the decision for their children.

Board member Baron Braswell said parents will receive a form where they’ll indicate whether they’d like their kids to wear a mask in school.

“Parents say they want choice, then it’s not a free-for-all, we’ve got to know that’s the choice you’re making. The only way I think we can do that is with some form of opt-out forms,” Braswell said.

“I can’t take the responsibility for maintaining the parents’ decision if I don’t know what the parents’ wishes are,” board member Erin Grampp said. “We require forms for everything in school, so what’s another form just to let us know what we’re supposed to be doing for your child.”

Neighboring Alexandria, Arlington and Fairfax school districts are requiring Kindergarten through sixth grade students to wear masks this fall.

Infection rates are again on the rise in parts of Virginia, amid fears that the delta variant could fuel a surge among communities with a large proportion of unvaccinated residents.

Although most of Virginia’s counties and independent cities are seeing a higher caseload compared to earlier this month, average daily cases remain below 10 per 100,000 people in most of Northern Virginia. Parts of central and southern Virginia, including the Roanoke and Norfolk areas, are reporting more recent cases per capita.

WTOP’s Alejandro Alvarez contributed to this report.

Juan Herrera

Juan Herrera is an associate producer for WTOP News. He joined the radio news team in 2021 after previously working for WMAL News as a news assistant. He is a graduate of the Philip Merrill College of Journalism at the University of Maryland.

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