Mooresville schools making masks optional for students; other districts to hold meetings

MOORESVILLE, N.C. — Local school districts are now scrambling to come up with mask-wearing policies days after the governor announced the state’s mandate is expiring. Parents all over the Channel 9 viewing area are waiting for decisions from their school leaders about whether kids will be required to wear a mask when school starts next month.

Mooresville Schools held an emergency school board meeting Sunday evening, and came to a unanimous decision to let parents choose whether to have their children wear masks or not.

Mooresville is just the first of many districts that will be holding similar emergency meetings this week.

“It’s a big topic in our community -- so, yeah it’s gonna be definitely something we’re gonna keep on top of,” parent Enrique Granillo said.

With an 11- and 13-year-old, Granillo said his family was paying attention to this weekend’s emergency school board meeting for Mooresville Graded Schools. So was Gaston Tillery, a dad of a pre-K student. He said their school follows the guidance the district lays out.

“Of course, obviously, we want to help things get back to normal as quickly as possible, so we’re willing to follow any guidelines that they have for us. Just try to do our part,” Tillery said.

Last school year, the big debate was over whether to go remote or not. Now, it’s over masks in schools. Starting with Sunday’s meeting in Mooresville, there’s a lineup of school board meetings to discuss how to handle the issue.

The governor and state health leaders are urging masks to stay required for grades K-8 and ensure those unvaccinated in older grades wear them as well.

In Mooresville, there was only one item on the agenda for the school board -- whether to keep school mask-wearing mandatory or give parents the choice and make it optional.

Parents Channel 9 spoke with said they plan to send their children to school in-person no matter the decision.

“Absolutely, I think they need that bond with other kids, that social interaction has to happen,” Granillo said.

“If it’s optional, we won’t be wearing one. I will say that. We’ll be comfortable with it, either way, I think. As long as she gets to learn, that’s the most important thing to us,” Tillery said.

As for the other districts, Anson County, Hickory City, Caldwell County, Cabarrus County and Cleveland County Schools meet July 26.

Gaston County Schools meets July 27.

Avery and Burke County Schools meet July 29.

Channel 9 is still waiting to see the direction CMS chooses to go.

Check back with for updates.

(WATCH BELOW: Cooper announces new guidance for masks in schools)