ALBEMARLE — In a recent social media post, Rep. Wayne Sasser, a Republican who represents most of Stanly County in the N.C. House, blasted the state’s guidance on COVID-19 control in schools and defended local school boards who are being forced to abide by it.
“Just read the latest Covid-19 Control Measure in Schools,” Sasser said. “Everyone who has a question about why kids have to wear mask in school should read this. The mandate from the state is about forcing everyone in public education to be vaccinated.”
Sasser said that the guidance from Gov. Roy Cooper’s Department of Health and Human Services makes it virtually impossible to run a school without mandating vaccines and masks. He cited the different rules on quarantining, which require no time away for the vaccinated, as few as 7 days away for those wearing masks, but 14 days for the unmasked.
He said that because of this, the school board is being forced to require masks and push vaccines in order to stay open, since “You cannot run a school of 8000 kids with everyone with Covid or exposed to Covid out of class for 14 days.” But by tightening the rules, Sasser believes local school boards are absorbing a lot of the anger that would more rightly be directed at the state.
“These rules are just the state’s way of forced vaccination without taking the grief,” Sasser said in the post. “Don’t shoot the messenger or the school board.”
On Aug. 3, when the Stanly County Board of Education voted to require masks, many of the members indicated that they were against any mask requirements, as they had said publicly before, but that their hands were now tied because of these state directives. Without masks, too many students and staff would be out for extended periods, and the funding for virtual classes was no longer available.
The only member of the board to vote against the mask mandate, Bill Sorenson, indicated that even though he was voting against masking, he believed his colleagues were right that they were left with few choices. To Sasser’s recent post, Sorenson responded, “I don’t have words other than to say. THANK YOU!! You articulated my position from day 1.”
Sorenson added that he believed the teachers unions and national Democrats were pushing health authorities to require these kinds of mandates.
“Maybe since you sir are respected medical expert others may start listening!” Sorenson told Sasser.