Mask-optional Fayetteville Christian School closes doors for 2 weeks because of viral illnesses

Akilah Davis Image
Tuesday, August 24, 2021
Mask-optional Fayetteville school closes doors for 2 weeks
Fayetteville Christian School said illnesses are not uncommon at the start of the school year, but with 10 confirmed COVID-19 cases, it is going virtual for two weeks.

FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (WTVD) -- Viral illnesses including COVID-19 are behind Fayetteville Christian School deciding to shut its doors for two weeks.

The school doesn't have a mask requirement, which leaves wearing masks optional for teachers and students.

"I make my daughter wear a mask because I feel it would be irresponsible for me to not protect my child the best that I could," said one parent who didn't want to be identified. "You see some students wearing masks and others not."

A recent in-person parent-teacher night left her uncomfortable as most people weren't wearing one.

She decided to send her child to Fayetteville Christian because of the many benefits of small classrooms. On Monday afternoon, an email was sent to all parents informing them that school was shutting down and moving to virtual learning for two weeks. According to the Head of School, Tammi Peters, there are at least 10 confirmed COVID-19 cases on campus between teachers and staff who reportedly got it from family. Peters told ABC11 that not wearing masks give parents the option.

"Every year during the first few weeks of school, there is an uptick in student illnesses, so this uptick in cases after being in school two weeks is not uncommon," Peters said in a statement to ABC11. "However, because the symptoms of other viruses overlap with symptoms of COVID, students who are exposed must also be quarantined. The majority of our current absenteeism is due to students having to follow COVID exposure protocols. We only have 10 confirmed cases of COVID spread out in multiple grades ranging from Pre-K through 12th grade. Our total school population is 720, which includes students and staff. By switching to virtual learning, we believe the viral illnesses will make their way through the school and we can return to normal activities on Sept 7."

The parent ABC11 spoke with is happy the school is taking the safety measures.

"I've heard some other parents not understanding why they're shutting schools down," the parent said. "Saying it's just flu-related illnesses, but I'm glad the school is taking the precautions,"

The school has implemented cileaning protocols. ABC11 asked whether masks will be required once students return. Peters said no.

"Wow. How far does it have to go for you to issue a mandate for children to wear masks in school?" the parent asked.