Survey: Should Chatham County Schools make masking optional?

Pittsboro, NC – On February 14, the Chatham County Board of Education voted at its monthly meeting to begin a gradual transition to an optional masking policy.

In the first stage that the board approved 5-0, effective February 15, the school district no longer requires student-athletes, coaches and spectators to wear masks during school sporting events.

The “Nuthouse” student section cheering on the Northwood Chargers in a home basketball game on February 18, 2022.

During the public input portion of the Chatham County School Board meeting on February, several Chatham County parents and students spoke in favor of making mask wearing voluntary. A few spoke in favor of continuing to require masks in school. Watch here.

In July 2021, we ran an online survey that asked “Do you think masks should be voluntary or mandatory in Chatham County Schools?” Results of August 11, 2021 survey were 55.2% for optional masking, 44.8% for mandatory masking.

Results of our August 2021 survey on masking.

Take our new online poll on masking here.
(voting ends on February 28 at 6 pm)

Should Chatham County Schools make masks optional or should they continue to be mandatory?

Due to all the recent changes this past week we have opted to do an updated survey. The question is still should Chatham County Schools make masks optional or should they continue to be mandatory?

On Thursday, Governor Cooper encouraged schools and local governments to end their mask mandates.

“We are taking a positive step on mask requirements to help us move safely toward a more normal day to day life,” said Governor Cooper. “It’s time to focus on getting our children a good education and improving our schools, no matter how you feel about masks.”

Cooper’s announcement came after the House Committee on Education announced a hearing on Senate Bill 173, Free the Smiles Act. The House ultimately passed the measure, 76-42. The Senate passed it, 28-17, on Thursday afternoon.

The act gives parents the right to have their children opt out of wearing masks in school.

In a specially called board meeting Thursday evening, the Lee County School Board voted unanimously to end the mandate for students and staff to wear face coverings effective Monday, February 21.

The Chatham County board will have a called meeting prior to March 7 to review data available and affirm and authorize next steps.

View a summary of the changes to the StrongSchoolsNC Public Health Toolkit and the ChildCareStrongNC Public Health Toolkit.