Chesapeake parents and teachers plan to speak about masking at upcoming school board meeting

Posted at 11:21 PM, Aug 08, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-08 23:30:39-04

CHESAPEAKE, Va - Chesapeake parents and teachers are planning to speak about masking inside school buildings at Monday’s school board meeting.

Masks are not on the agenda, but people can speak on non-agenda items. Currently, masks are optional inside classrooms.

"I’m asking for is another vote because the Chesapeake school board originally took their vote to make masks optional on June 14th. That was not only before the Delta variant took hold but also before all public health recommendations came out in July that said all universal mask wearing is necessary," Samantha Lester said, a Chesapeake parent and member of Chesapeake Advocates for Responsible Return to School.

The school board voted on June 14 to make masks optional inside classrooms this school year if there is no state mandate.

"I’m expecting the Chesapeake school board to uphold their decision to make masks optional," Kim Scott said, a Chesapeake parent of a high school student and middle school student.

The CDC recommends all people regardless of vaccination status wear a mask.

"As a fully vaccinated teacher, I encourage everyone who is listening to get vaccinated who is eligible. I plan to wear my mask while I’m in the classroom instructing students because students under 12 are not able to get their COVID vaccine yet," Reagan Davis said, a Chesapeake middle school teacher and the president of Chesapeake Education Association, a teachers union.

Samantha Lester, a Chesapeake parent, says she and other parents want Chesapeake Schools to follow CDC guidelines.

"Tomorrow will be my 22nd school board meeting in a row that I will be attending and speaking at. My children will still wear masks to school. One of them is old enough to receive the vaccine. The other one is not. To have all of those children unmasked and unvaccinated in confined quarters indoors is a recipe for a disaster." Lester said.

Davis will be speaking at the at the school board meeting in support of masking.

"We will be speaking about the masking policy and hopefully following CDC guidance," Davis said.

Kim Scott, a Chesapeake parent, supports the optional mask wearing that’s currently in place for Chesapeake students and staff.

"It’s a hundred percent up to my children to wear or not wear a mask but I can guarantee you we’re not going to be wearing them," Scott said.

Lester says she also plans to speak in support of transgender-friendly polices.

"We are there to voice our support for all LGBTQ students in Chesapeake because at the last few school board meetings, we have seen several hurtful speakers speak disparagingly about people who identify with one of those communities," Lester said.

"When all students feel included in our school division. It allows for all students to grow and learn their material," Davis said.

Monday’s school board meeting will be held at the Chesapeake School Administration building at 6 p.m.