SPS students will not be required to wear masks beginning Feb. 28

Published 11:30 pm Wednesday, February 16, 2022

Students in Suffolk Public Schools will no longer be required to wear masks beginning Feb. 28.

However, students will still be required to wear masks on the bus, per federal law, and SPS staff will still be required to wear masks.

In a Feb. 16 letter to families responding to legislation making masks optional for students that has passed both houses of the General Assembly and was signed into law Wednesday by Gov. Glenn Youngkin, the school division stated that parents can choose for their child not to wear a mask while on school property.

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The bill takes effect immediately, but school districts have until March 1 to comply. Youngkin has asked school divisions to let the state know how they plan to comply with the new law.

The SPS letter also notes that employees, parents and visitors must still wear masks while on division property. That, it stated, includes extracurricular activities and School Board meetings.

Suffolk Police escorted several people out of the Feb. 10 board meeting, including Chuckatuck Borough School Board representative Sherri Story, after not complying with a directive from chairwoman Dr. Judith Brooks-Buck to wear masks. The board’s work session was delayed by 30 minutes as a result.

“While wearing face-coverings will be optional for our students, Suffolk Public Schools will continue to strongly encourage them to wear masks while on the school division property to prevent the spread of COVID-19,” the letter says.

The letter states that anyone with questions can contact school administrative offices at 757-925-6750.