Richmond Schools to keep 100% mask-wearing policy

Richmond Public Schools unveiled a new logo in 2020.
Richmond Public Schools unveiled a new logo in 2020.(Richmond Public Schools)
Published: Jul. 21, 2021 at 7:56 PM EDT|Updated: Jul. 21, 2021 at 11:15 PM EDT
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RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - Hours after the state released new mask guidelines for schools, Richmond Public Schools made the decision to require masks for everyone, including those who are vaccinated.

RPS made that decision even after the state offered school boards some wiggle room. Wednesday, the state gave local school districts power to determine what to do, although leaders suggested schools require masks. That doesn’t mean everyone is on board.

“We will be maintaining our 100% mask-wearing policy for all students, staff, and visitors. We feel this is the safest course of action, particularly with the surging Delta variant,” Superintendent Jason Kamras said in a letter to parents.

The decision was music to Donmanic Carter’s ears.

“You don’t want everyone to get sick. As you see, I have five kids,” he said holding his young children. Carter says it only seems right. “The numbers are going up, so we have to be more safe. We have to move different.”

NBC12 is awaiting word on what other school districts in Central Virginia will do. For Trey Pierce, this is really a dilemma.

“I’m sick of the masks like everyone else,” he said. But he realizes, COVID is still here. “Not everyone wants a vaccination or believes in it, so I think the more masks, the better…It’s not going to go away until everybody gets it, but that’s their right. You can’t make somebody do something.”

Carter says if RPS did not require masks, he would have his children learn from home.

“You got to think about the safety of the kids and the safety of the parents, as well,” Carter said.

Kamras says getting vaccinated helps to ensure face-to-face learning can continue. Right now, there is no vaccine available for children under 12, another factor likely driving the district’s decision to mask up.

To read the full announcement, click here.

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