Suffolk school leaders pass plan for new year; masks required indoors and on buses

kids masks classroom school children
Posted at 9:29 PM, Aug 12, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-12 22:18:48-04

SUFFOLK, Va. - Thursday, another Hampton Roads school district discussed mask wearing hours after Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam issued the state’s new indoor mask mandate for public and private K-12 schools.

In a 6-1 vote, Suffolk Public Schools (SPS) school board members passed the Return to Learn plan for the 2021-2022 year.

In their plan, SPS leaders recommend all students, staff and visitors must wear masks in all district buildings, regardless of vaccination status.

Masks are also required on all buses; however, they do not need to be worn outside.

News 3 talked with parents about the issue that’s been a hot topic throughout local school districts leading up to the first bell.

"I feel like masks are still necessary,” parent Sarah Pickford said. “These kids don't have vaccines. There was a virus strand that affected kids."

"The mask, you know, it's up to the parents if they want to wear them or not,” parent Connie Swiggett said. “They do get hot, and kids just do so much activity, so it would be very hard for them."

SPS’s Return to Learn plan also includes maintaining three feet of distancing, including outside, and encouraging vaccinations for those who are eligible.

Related: Parents weigh in on mask debate as Gov. Northam mandates all students wear them in school

To read more about the 2021-2022 Return to Learn Plan for Suffolk Public Schools, click here.

Click here for more Safely at School coverage.