Mask Mandate Question Settled In 4-3 Vote By School Board

A divided Johnston County Board of Education voted 4-to-3 to allow for parental choice when it comes to their children wearing masks when they return to school in August.

Superintendent Dr. Eric Bracy said Johnston County currently has 9.1 percent of individuals testing positive for COVID-19, the highest percentage since February 2021. The peak was in January 2021 at 17.1 percent.

Prior to the vote, Dr. Nicholas King, Chief Academic Officer, said if masks are optional this school year, there is the potential for significant student and staff absences.

“This decision needs to be a choice for parents, teachers and staff… I still feel, even with the data, that the decision needs to be a choice for our students and staff,” stated school board member Mike Wooten, who made a motion for facemasks to be optional for students and staff in grades K-12, both indoors and outdoors.

The motion was seconded by Ronald Johnson.

Chairman Todd Sutton said, “I respect the parents that feel the need to keep their kids safe by continuing to wear a mask just as much as I respect the parents that feel they should have a choice… This has been a hard decision. We all have received many, many, many emails. I appreciate the parents voicing their opinion, either way, if it’s for masks or not. I appreciate that.”

Vice Chair Terri Sessoms added, “I want to thank all of our parents and staff members who have reached out to us. It’s obvious that we are a County that deeply cares about our children. There is no doubt about that…. Many want choice but there’s also those who want mandatory masking. Our county is split, just like our state is, and our nation.”

The board voted 4-to-3 to allow choice when it comes to wearing a facemask this school year. Board members Lyn Andrews, Ronald Johnson, Todd Sutton and Mike Wooten voted in favor of facemasks being optional. Board members Al Byrd, Kay Carroll, and Terri Sessoms voted against.

Schools will be in operation 5 days a week following their adopted calendars this Fall and will return to pre-Covid routines and events. Those events, however, will be planned to allow for physical distancing as much as possible including orientation, assemblies, field trips, and staff meetings.

Under the current plan, visitors and volunteers will be allowed in schools. Transportation will resume as normal.

Athletics, extracurricular and co-curricular activities must follow the guidance of the NCHSAA and school unit where they participate and compete.


  1. Common sense gets the W today. 🇺🇲💪🥳

    Liberal lunacy takes the L to the gut. 🇨🇳😷

  2. And the sh*tshow known as the JoCo BOE continues to roll on. The CRT emergency was never resolved, but (as we all know) it was just a misdirection ploy by the board. #VoteOutIncumbents

  3. The fact is all but Ronald Johnson will be losing their board member seat. Mike Wooten seen the writing on the wall the last election and we all are more than aware he is a liberal progressing liberal with absolutely no room of us being mistaken. I voted for Lynn Andrews and she has demonstrated that she is a miserable failure and a closet liberal progressive liberal also. As for Todd Sutton there is no kid words I have for him as I did for Wooten and Andrews. These school board members are wanting to become your friends now and in hopes that you will forget the liberal progressive liberal Hell that they have put the parents through the last few years. They want your most valuable love one so they can push their sickening world view of boy can be girl and girl can be boy life style on them. If this is not true, let’s hear them deny this?

  4. Someone needs to tell Terri Sessoms to watch who she’s talking to. Just because she isn’t running for re-election, doesn’t mean her rude a** can tell off the public. She works for us. She better show us respect.

    • She stated she doesn’t work for us and she can do as she feels is best not what we want her to do! Thank God she is not running again. Now to make sure we get someone good to replace her that listens and doesn’t talk so condescending to us.

  5. Folks, living in Johnston County I know better than just rolling up unannounced in someone’s yard you don’t know. When Terry Tippett didn’t get appointed to the school board and he announced his campaign I did just that. I even had to seriously question Mr. Tippett are you sure your in Johnston County because he was so far out in the sticks? I just wanted to offer my help to Mr. Tippett and being around the same age of Mr. Tippett and abandon by both parents and adopted, I felt this man projects a genuine father figure and I am sure most of his students would testify to that. I hope Ms. Michelle Antoine will again enter into this school board race. I think there are few things she needs to over come and that can be easily taken care of. Folks, very seat other than Ron Johnson needs to be seriously contested and if anyone will put their self out there I am more than willing to help them. I just ask you leave every ounce of energy on the field and let me define your enemy. I don’t mean the friend on the other side of the political aisle. They are the worst enemy we have seen sense some wars that want mention.

    • Terry nobody wants your help. Johnson, Tippett, or anyone else will lose votes if associated with you. Your rantings have hurt the conservative cause.

  6. If school attendance is not optional, why are masks? We live in a county that the majority still think Trump won and is going to take office next month. I’m sick of people denying science and common sense.

  7. I have to admit, Carroll sure fooled me by doing the complete opposite of what he preached to get elected. He don’t have to worry about me or several others I know from using his pharmacy ever again.

  8. A reasonable person would attempt to steer the ship out of danger, joco school board decided to go full steam ahead, danger be dammed! Some parents believe that they truly know what’s best for their child , so why take them to a doctor? Joco you are playing with fire, I pray we don’t get burned. Over 600 thousands dead Americans, and we still don’t get it? No testing, no masking, and hell no to the vaccine! Why must you sacrifice your child, for your pride and beliefs. The greatest commandment is to love one to another, we live in a shared space. That’s shrinking rapidly..

    • So parents don’t know what’s best for their child and complete strangers do? There is your problem!! No one knows what is best and will fight for the best for their child like a parent! Clearly you are part of the problem!!! Turn off MSM, watch alternative news sources and do true research off google.

      • Some parents are morons though. So it stands to reason that parents don’t always know what’s best for their children. Those parents who took their kids to Jonestown sure didn’t know what was best for their kids. Plenty of worldly examples that show humans can act ignorantly whether they are a parent or not.

  9. Using common sense, anyone should deduce that if you want to contain the virus, masks will help. What good does it do if some do wear them and some don’t? The virus will spread and be worse than ever. At a time like this, people should be thinking of the good for all and not just for their inconvenience or what they may call “liberty”.

  10. Covid-19 is here to stay and it will never leave. This has been the finest political tool imagine-able to grab totalitarian power by the Socialist Democrats. If the radio and television along with any form of internet would be completely gone Covid-19 would disappear with it too. Let me put it in this analogy, all these genders can only be born out off a education system and only thrive in those communities around them. The government then picks up where the education system left off in coddling these genders. In the real world the physical bodies cannot change from girl to boy or boy to girl. Bruce Jenner is a fine example but he has education system and the government for this life style line and lives in the most normal part of America too. Covid-19 cannot die when 99 percent of the media is Hell-Bent to keep it as a political tool the likes the United States has never seen. It just numbers that could be from fiction sources and you will never get to see their proof so don’t even ask.

  11. Anyone who supports the “science” of masking children needs to consider the effects of oxygen deprivation. Also, the psychological effects of being made to think you are in danger and a danger to others for merely breathing are something to consider.

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