At a called board meeting on March 30, the Bibb County Board of Education made the decision to continue the mask requirement through the end of the current school year on May 27, 2021. After a unanimous 5-0 vote, the board authorized the following statement:
"The Bibb County Board of Education will continue to require masks or facial covering for students, employees, and visitors in all school buildings and on all school buses for the remainder of the current school year, through May 27, 2021. Masks will not be required for outdoor events or activities as long as recommended social or physical distancing can be maintained."
In addition to information and recommendations from local health professionals at a board work session on March 29, the BOE has since received a letter from the Alabama Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics (dated April 6, 2021) recommending and strongly urging all schools to continue to wear masks through the end of the school year. Additionally, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) continues to recommend masks along with several other prevention strategies, including physical distancing, handwashing and respiratory etiquette, cleaning, and contract tracing.
We know – and have heard – from several of our parents and other stakeholders an opinion that the masks are ineffective and useless. Some have very strong feelings about this. We will, however, listen to medical professionals and yield to their recommendations for the health and safety of our students and employees.
This has been an incredibly difficult school year. The COVID pandemic has been a challenge for our students, parents, teachers, administrators, and all support personnel. It has been especially exhausting for our school nurses. But I can assure you that our students and employees have done a tremendous job facing these challenges.
Sadly, many of us have lost family or friends to this new virus or have seen loved ones suffer through the virus with lingering effects. And yet, it is also confounding that so many have been infected but with little to no symptoms or distress at all.
Nevertheless, and however baffling and mysterious this virus’s tendencies seem to be, we will continue to seek the advice and counsel of medical professionals and disease experts for the health and safety of our students and employees. For those who disagree, we do respect your opinion.
Thank you for your patience, your cooperation, and your support of Bibb County Schools.