Students will not be required to wear face masks while at school in Wilson Co.

Posted at 9:58 PM, Jul 16, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-16 23:45:43-04

LEBANON, Tenn. (WTVF) — After a four-hour discussion, Wilson County School Board members decided students will not be required to wear face masks when returning to school in the fall. Rather, wearing masks will be "strongly encouraged."

Wilson County school officials released the district's COVID-19 back-to-school plan last week, which included both in-person and virtual learning options.

In the classroom, face coverings are required for teachers and staff but not for students.

On Thursday, board members discussed a motion to require students to wear face coverings when social distancing is not possible like class transitions in hallways, the health clinic, and other isolated areas.

After much discussion, the motion failed in a 4 to 2 vote with one abstention. Rather, the board is strongly encouraging students to wear masks.

Prior to Thursday's meeting, Mt. Juliet Teens for Change, an advocacy group made up of Mount Juliet High School students created an online petition to issue a mask mandate for 7th -12th grades.

During the meeting, board members also extended the deadline to register students in either virtual or in-person classes to Sunday, July 19 at noon.