Bedford County School Board shoots down mask and transgender policy proposals

Bedford County Public Schools
Bedford County Public Schools(BCPS Facebook Page)
Published: Jul. 29, 2021 at 10:17 PM EDT
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ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ) - At a heated meeting of the Bedford County School Board Thursday night, members rejected policies centering on COVID-19 mitigation efforts and transgender students.

The board considered two options for COVID-19 strategies, including following Virginia Department of Health and Virginia Department of Education recommendations that include masks for all students, staff and teachers. The other policy presented was a tiered strategy that would look at the Department of Health dashboards to monitor the seven-day case count and focus on the number of cases per 100,000.

During public comment, many parents expressed they believe masks are the choice of the parents, not of school officials.

In a vote, the board rejected the mitigation proposals, and went with masks being up to the parents of students. Masks are still required on school buses, per federal regulations.

The board also rejected proposed plans for transgender student policy, and opted to stick with the current policy for now. The board will seek legal opinions on the next step.

Earlier, the option presented was for schools to follow the Virginia Department of Education’s policy, with single-use bathrooms available to all students. The proposal would not require students to dress out for gym, only that they wear appropriate shoes.

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