Elizabethton City Schools to implement short term mask mandate within the school system

Published 9:35 pm Thursday, August 19, 2021

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The Elizabethton City School Board met on Thursday evening for their regular scheduled meeting for the month of August at the Elizabethton City Schools Central Office to discuss a few important things regarding the 2021-2022 school year.

There were many items brought up during the meeting, however, there were a few major items on the agenda that drew much attention and discussion.

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The first of these items pertained to the athletics department at Elizabethton High School and something that would improve the atmosphere at indoor competitions in John Treadway Gymnasium such as volleyball and basketball.

The item was brought up by EHS Athletic Director Forrest Holt and was for a video board in the gymnasium to be used for crowd interactions and advertisements. 

The video board would be financed on a three year lease of $18,586.33 each year, an amount that would be paid for in part by the businesses sponsoring the board.

The next item brought up on the agenda during the meeting pertained to the Covid-19 pandemic and the possibility of vaccinations being required in school systems.

The item outlines that if vaccinations were to be required, then students with either religious or medical exemptions must have their exemptions honored by the school system.

The final discussion of the night was perhaps the longest one, as it too related to the Covid-19 pandemic, and more importantly the new Delta Variant that is becoming more common. 

During the thirty minute discussion on what steps should be taken to protect students in Elizabethton, decisions from other school systems such as Johnson City were brought into consideration.

After the lengthy deliberation from members of the board, a decision was made that for a ten day period, or two school weeks starting in the middle of next week, that a mask mandate will be in effect for Elizabethton City Schools.

However, this comes with the recognition of an executive order from governor Bill Lee stating that parents will be able to opt out of mask mandates if they choose to do so.

Since the mandate is not one that is long running, the board will hold a special called meeting once the short term mask mandate is complete to decide on terminating it or letting it run for an even longer period of time.

Apart from the special called meeting in the upcoming weeks, the next regularly scheduled Elizabethton City School Board Meeting will take place on Thursday, September 16th at 5:30 pm in the Mack Pierce Board Room at the Elizabethton City Schools Central Office.