Franklin County School Board Votes in Favor of Parental Choice in Masking Debate

Rocky Mount, Va – On Monday Night, the Franklin County School Board voted 5-3 in favor of “parental choice” in regards to masking of children in Franklin County Public Schools beginning February 15.

Masks are still required on school buses and on days six through ten after testing positive for COVID-19 or being identified as a close contact of someone who is positive for COVID-19.

Arlet Greer (Blackwater District), Dawn McCray (Boone District), Carletta Whiting (Snow Creek District), Dr. Kevin David (Member at Large) and Julie Nix (Blue Ridge District) all voted in favor of the motion with Jeff Worley (Rocky Mount District , P.D. Hambrick (Union Hall District) and Jon Atchue (Gills Creek District ) each voting against the motion.

Superintendent Bernice Cobbs sent out the following press release early Tuesday morning.

February 15, 2022

Last night, the Franklin County School Board voted to allow parents the option to have their children wear a mask or not wear a mask while in school. Parent Election begins today, February 15, 2022. Remember that masks are still required on all school buses and on days 6-10 for people after they have tested positive or been identified as close contact with someone with COVID-19.

All other components of health mitigation plans that are in place at your schools will continue and remain in place, however, we will not use desk shields unless you request one for your child. Talk to your children about their decision and expectations about or not wearing masks and ask them to respect others. Teachers will not be asked to enforce parents’ decisions about mask in the classroom.

The Virginia Department of Labor and Industry Standard states that school employees must wear masks in areas of significant or high community transmission, regardless of vaccination status. Franklin County Public Schools remains in a “high transmission” phase, so all employees must continue to wear masks. The health and safety of all children and staff at Franklin County Public Schools is our priority.. FCPS will continue to follow the mandates of Virginia Department of Health public health experts, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommendations, governor’s directives, and Depa guidance Virginia Education in our planning and decision-making.

We’ve come this far together; while it’s been challenging at times, we’re together, and that’s what matters most.


Dr. Bernice Cobbs

News from the School Superintendent