Johnson Issues Statement On 4-3 School Board Vote

Johnston County school board member Ronald Johnson issued a statement following Thursday’s 4-to-3 vote allowing facemasks to be optional for students and staff.  Mr. Johnson,  Lyn Andrews, Todd Sutton and Mike Wooten voted for parental choice.  Board members Al Byrd, Kay Carroll and Terri Sessoms voted against.   

Mr. Johnson issued the following statement:

Let the votes speak for themselves. From day one, I’ve said give people a choice. The Board of Education is a reflection of the community and hopefully we represent their values in some proportion. I don’t think I have the right to tell someone they have to or don’t have to wear a mask. It feels like an infringement and that’s just my opinion.

I know Terri, Kay, and Al feel differently but they represent constituents in this county who are like minded. I can’t fault someone for believing how they believe, but I expect the same treatment. In all fairness, I have received the same treatment. I expect them to represent those constituents with the same passion and tenacity as I do.

I have to give credit where it is due, and Mike  worked to build a consensus. Also, Lyn weighed everything out meticulously and with care for everyone involved. Al is constantly pushing the “team” concept and trying motivate everyone to work together, I certainly respect his efforts.

We have gone too long without knowing what to expect for this upcoming school year. I’m glad we at least know now the parameters and pray everything goes safely for the students and staff.


  1. As a parent of a vaccinated 9th grader, I am extremely disappointed that the school board has voted to make masks optional as our kids return to the classroom in a few weeks – at 100% capacity, with no social distancing. Though I am not shocked at the recklessness and ignorance of the four who voted against a mask mandate, it is those individuals that will have to answer for the way the delta variant will tear through our schools soon. What an irresponsible decision in light of what’s happening all over the country. AT THE VERY LEAST, vaccinations and/or bi-weekly testing should be mandated for ALL school employees.

    • Lol liberal much…. How about you move to a state that you love of a totalitarian government has power in.

    • Pretty odd you liberal were screaming my body my choice but now we can’t say that. As you liberals were screaming my body my choice inref to planned parenthood and tax payers funding. Lol you just can’t this stuff up. Here is something, it’s a 2 way street. It goes both ways

    • If you trust the effectiveness of the vaccine and masks for your family, then trust they will work for you family. With it being parent choice, your child will be allowed to wear it themselves. No need to concern yourself with making others wear a mask.

  2. Mr. Johnson, you sir are wrong and very short sighted. You claim to give parents a choice. That is a LIE. If you give them the choice to school on line, attend classes with all masked, etc. you would in fact be giving choice. But, teachers have no choice nor do parents that want masks. This is stupid, reckless and ill advised. I voted for you as a voice of reason. You are no better than those you have pointed out in the past. No votes for you again nor the other 3 like minded members.

    • John brings up a good point. The talking point has been “I just want to give everyone a choice”. That seems reasonable and fair on the surface, but it is misses the entire point here. The subject is not merely being able to wear a mask or not wear a mask. It’s not a fashion statement. It’s about the function of the mask. If some wear masks and some don’t, it’s pointless to wear one. So you are in fact taking away that option from those who would prefer the inconvenience of mask as a way of extra protection against a virus during a high risk time.

      Now if you offered masked schools and unmasked schools then you are giving choices to everyone. But by sending masked and unmasked without social distancing and no need for teachers to mask or vaccinate – then you are not giving those kids and parents the option of feeling safe.

      Johnson likes using that phrase to try and appeal to everyone as if he’s just looking out for everyone. But it’s only true on the surface, if you get down to the reasoning of why these parents and kids who do want masks to be required, then you know this isn’t a win win for everyone. They aren’t concerned with whether or not they have the option to wear a mask, they are concerned with whether or not their kid is being put at risk.

      And yes, I’m aware this virus is more dangerous to the elderly and those with pre existing conditions – however we don’t know what the long term affects are. The same way the anti vax people say they are hesitant or dubious of putting a new vaccine into their body because they don’t know the side effects for the long term – well none of us know the side effects long term of having Covid even if it didn’t hospitalize you.

      Ron Johnson seems like a typical politician – he has his views and that’s fine, however he’s not the common sense guy he wants to pretend to be. It seems he just likes to put out statements and control the narrative to appease his likely voters. To be fair, I could be wrong. Maybe he’s trying to be be transparent with the public and I’m sure he’s well meaning – he’s just not accurate when he says this gives everyone a choice. It does not do that one bit. It forces one group to put their kids in situations they deem to be an unnecessary risk. There is not option or choice for a masked and socially distanced school.

      • I agree with you 100%, John!! Thank you. The whole point of safety is not being considered. We don’t give options whether to wear football helmets or not – it’s required for safety just like masks should be required for safety. The Board of Education has a legal and moral obligation to prove the safest environment they can. I agree that those who agree masks should be required are NOT provided a choice ad John stated. And saying that the choice is for them to enroll in virtual academy is not providing an equal or fair opportunity. Those that thing virtual academy is an equal alternative are the same people who have trashed virtual learning the past year and labeled it second or even third class schooling. John, your points include the exact information that would provide parents with a legal basis to file a lawsuit against the Board for knowingly not providing for the safety of students. The fact that they voted against science and the recommendation of the CDC along with alarming data currently in Johnston County would likely be reasons a judge would put a temporary stay in place requiring everyone to wear a face covering (with exception of those who can’t wear a face covering due to documented medical concerns). I hate wearing a mask. Absolutely despise it. But the point is not wearing a mask or choice, the point is safety.

        • If you think those masks actually provide safety than I have some ocean front property in beautiful AZ to sell you!

    • They do have a choice. There’s always a choice.

      If they fear for their lives as much as they claim to, or care about their fellow community members as much as they profess – they always have the choice to quit their jobs. They can just not show up.

      Its happening at police forces throughout America. Here locally, Raleigh PD.

      I know – 100% – I would quit my job if I thought going there would kill me and I haven’t missed a single day of work since this “pandemic” started.

      Let’s see what they do -🍿😎

  3. I agree with parental choice. If you give your freedom away little by little soon you have no freedom at all. I welcome all that move here but pray they keep their liberal views where they came from. They have already destroyed where they came from, don’t come here and try to destroy our county.

    • There is no choice here. Non-mask wearers get to spread the virus to the rest of the school. Have you not been listening for the past year and a half?

      • Have you not seen the decline in mental health with kids in the past year due to the masks, social distancing and draconian rules that make no sense!

  4. The comments made by John H. are completely wrong. John, why do you say that parents and teachers don’t have a choice to wear masks? Perhaps you haven’t read any of the article regarding the decision about face masks being optional, or you simply don’t understand what “optional” means.
    If your precious little cherub is dutifully wearing his/her N-95 non vented mask and mine is not wearing a mask, your precious little cherub should be fine because the masks work so well at preventing the spread of this mostly non-lethal virus.

    • As is usual, you miss the point or refuse to see it. Masks stop the spread FROM the wearer. If you wear it, you are subject to the virus NON-MASK wearers spread out. But, you know this because it has been stated for over a year. Stop pretending to be stupid and acting as if we don’t see through it. Teachers have to be there and breathe the air as do those that wear masks. But, hey, don’t worry. I know you think that you are less than a month away from Trump being President again and fixing all this.

      • If the mask worked then why the vaccine? If the vaccines work then why the masks?

        My point? Neither work as well as your own immune system.

        Trust the science? It was “science” from the Wuhan lab that put us in this predicament.

        • Use of logical fallacies is hilarious. So, the news is wrong, experts are wrong, 600k+ people have not died? To think the human immune system is the best goes against ALL of history and common sense. When everyone is wrong but you, then you should re-evaluate your trusted source. Grow up and get a life.

  5. To seth Terry and other joco blind my freedom my way people, my child my teacher my custodian or support person, what about them, why must they teach and support your reckless behavior, if you must be so against vaccine and wearing a mask, for God sake mandate weekly testing! Oops, wrong word mandate, unamerican, do unto others as you want done to you, I pray to God that we get leadership of courageous men and women to guide our selfish nation, all about me people, until the storm hits, then you want unity!

  6. With all of his grandstanding, I’m still waiting for Johnson to follow through on his campaign promises….. Where’s the fix for the overcrowding? Why aren’t test scores improving? Why is the budget continuing to run amuck? How has school choice increased? So far, Johnson hasn’t kept his word… He just grandstands and seeks name recognition for his next election. #VoteOutIncumbents

    • Johnson made a valid point: How many people do you see in public that aren’t wearing a mask or wearing it improperly? I see VERY few! If I am correct, there is a virtual academy, The comments that were made eluded to the fact that more parents want choice and that is the way he voted. One board member pretty much stated she didn’t care, was the expert and if you didn’t like it, get over it!

  7. The vaccinated are spreading this virus and getting reinfected just like the non vaccinated. If the vaccine works so good as u claim then un vaccinated people should have 0 effect on you. But your finding out the vacc is almost useless and already talking about boosters. You have a choice. Come to school and wear a mask or not. Or don’t come to school. But your fear is your fear don’t push it on others.

    • This is a lie. Like your Trumpon cohorts, you tell lies but don’t know the difference. Your self delusion knows no bounds.

    • Simply not true. Nearly 97% of all cases are from *vaccinated* people. The rate of infection by vaccinated people is less that 2%. I’m fine with you pushing the “your choice” line, but please don’t lie about the facts.

  8. Last year in November I wore the mask everyday, all day and anytime I went in the public. Guess what?? I still got sick and liked to have died from it. The mask is not a fix all to the problem. I would think that the State of North Carolina needs to do a better job of spraying and cleaning in areas where the virtuous is present. No one came to my house from the health department to check on us or see if we needed anything, but our records were sent to them and THEY know who we are. They did call but that’s all. The only way to stop this virus is do more spraying and kill it before it spreads from place to place.

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