CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. -- Chesterfield County school leaders voted unanimously to require masks for all students and staff members in a meeting on Tuesday night.
The decision comes after parents and students on both sides of the issue argued for and against the mandate before the meeting.
School board members said that their decision falls in line with the CDC mandate for high-transmission areas.
Several parents insisted that the mandate was an overreach of the school board's power while others said that requiring masks would keep students safe.
"Doctors do not have the authority, teachers do not have the authority and nor does the government. I'm the parent, I'm the authority and vaccines and masks should not be mandated when the decision should be made by parents," one parent who spoke out at the meeting side.
Some parents expressed their concerns about what consequences could be down the line if masks weren't worn inside schools.
"For every new infection, we give this virus a chance to mutate. It may mutate to make vaccines less effective. It may mutate to be more contagious. It may mutate to be even more deadly. And that rate of 1 in 10,000 kids who may die may change to something higher," another parent said.
The school district will also offer a virtual option for all students.