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Students must mask up or be sent home in Aiken County

Published: Aug. 26, 2020 at 6:20 PM EDT
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AIKEN, S.C. (WRDW/WAGT) - School starts for Aiken County in just five days. On Tuesday night, the school board unanimously approved a decision on the mask policy, one that parents have varying opinions about.

Some parents get it.

“Kids don’t cover their mouth when they come off to sneeze, and you spit when you talk like that’s what the mask is doing. You know, it’s catching all those coughs and sneezes, the spit droplets,” said Tiffany Fackrell, mother of a first-grader.

With the exception of a few people with medical conditions, everyone that goes into an Aiken County school is required to wear masks. Parents are getting their kids ready.

“But now with the mask requirement, we prepared him every time we go out to the grocery store: ‘Put on our shoes, make sure you have your mask,‘” parent Savannah Sanders said.

And the students are ready to go back.

“My first-grader said, ‘Mom, I’ll wear a mask if it means I go back to school,‘” Fackrell said.

The policy states children can only take off the mask in the classrooms with permission. But some parents say that's still too risky.

“I think that they should be wearing in the classroom so if I’m being honest. You know the air doesn’t not circulate in the room,” Denielle Price, another parent, said.

Price chose the virtual option for her children because she thinks the in-person plan has a few holes

“Kids forget to bring their badges. You know, they’re going to forget their masks. I hope there’s some kind of system put into place in the schools for children who do have, you know, have forgotten their masks or have an ear band pop or whatever. Throughout the day,” Price said.

Others are just happy their kids have an opportunity to return.

“I don’t have a problem with it. And I just, you know, try and teach my kids that sometimes we have to do things that make us a little uncomfortable, but it’s what we’re asked and it’s not hurting us. And we want to keep our germs to ourselves,” Fackrell said.

And there are consequences to not following the rules. The district says if a student or their parent refuses to wear a mask, the student can be sent home.

Parents are also encouraged to send any questions they may have to communications@acpsd.net and they will work to get them answered.

DISTRICT STATEMENT

“The health, safety and well-being of our students, faculty and staff is our top priority. We take the concerns of our parents very seriously and strive to respond to them as thoroughly and expeditiously as possible. School district leaders and building administrators have worked tirelessly throughout the summer to put every recommended and reasonable safety measure in place to ensure our buildings are safe when teachers and students return August 31. These plans have been posted on our school district website as a “B2S Community Manual” located under the “B2S SAFELY” channel on the home page and they are readily available to the community. We also encourage parents to send any specific concerns they may have to communications@acpsd.net.”

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