School district leaves it up to students, staffers to choose whether to wear a face mask

“Some people are for masks, some people are against masks. We figured this was a very neutral approach.”

School district leaves it up to students, staffers to choose whether to wear a face mask
(Source: KFVS)

CASS COUNTY, Texas (KSLA) — Texas Gov. Gregg Abbott officially lifted his state’s COVID-19 restrictions Wednesday, March 10.

Now businesses can have 100% capacity. And the wearing of masks and other face coverings is optional, a decision left up to individual businesses.

This also applies to public schools. Many school districts in East Texas have decided to conduct business the same as they have been. Then there are those who welcome the change.

“Some people are for masks, some people are against masks. We figured this was a very neutral approach,” said Brian Stroman, superintendent of Bloomburg Independent School District.

Bloomburg ISD leaders are leaving it up to their 50 staff members and nearly 300 students to individually decide whether they want to wear a mask or other face covering.

“We felt it was very important to give our employees, our staff, our community the right to choose which they want to have,” Stroman explained.

That decision was based, in part, on the low COVID-19 positivity rate in the school district, the superintendent said. So far, he added, nine students and seven staffers have tested positive. And most of those were unrelated to the school, Stroman added.

Most of the students and teachers seen on campus Wednesday had on no mask.

East Texas school district lets students, staffers decide whether to wear a mask

High school teacher Matt Fomby continued wearing his face covering. “It’s a personal choice, and I agree with it.”

Reporter: “And your choice is to wear?”

Fomby: “Yes, sir, depending on where I am, absolutely.”

Elementary school teacher Macee Josserand thinks not wearing a face mask will be a plus in instructing her students.

“It’s been wonderful. I can actually enunciate. And the students can see my mouth when I’m trying to teach them to say certain phonic sounds,” she explained. “It’s a lot easier for them to understand what I’m saying.”

For now, the superintendent believes school leaders’ decision to make face coverings optional will benefit his school district. “We have about nine weeks of school left. And so that will give us a determining factor in the next nine weeks what our decision will be going into the next year.”

Students’ and staffers’ safety is always a concern at Bloomburg ISD, Stroman added.

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