School Board Votes 5-4 Against Motion To Allow Teachers To Take Masks Off

Thursday, October 21, 2021

The County School Board on Thursday voted 5-4 against a motion to tell teachers they don't have to wear masks at school if they don't want to.

The idea was brought up by Rhonda Thurman and Chairman Tucker McClendon. Some board members said they heard of the vote just that day.

Ms. Thurman said teachers tell her "my students don't know what I look like. I want them to see my smile and be able to personally interact with them."

She said most people now have ditched their masks. She said she seldom sees them at ball games and other community events.

Mr. McClendon said even the many teachers who have been vaccinated and have booster shots "have to wear masks 8-9 hours at school." He said a "common sense" approach would be to give them the option.

Interim Supt. Nakia Towns advised against the move. She said, "Nobody is more exhausted than school personnel." But she said it is still necessary to be cautious.

She said as of Thursday there were 67 students and 16 staff with COVID. She said in June the average of new cases in the county was 18 and today its 82.

Dr. Towns said 74 percent of teachers were vaccinated, but younger children are not eligible for the shots and teens are not likely to get them. She said the school system "is not close" to "herd immunity."

She also said that the schools have only been able to call on 100 to 150 substitute teachers a day and regular teachers are having to fill some spots.

Board member Joe Wingate said the board would be "stepping in a rabbit hole" by approving the motion. He said board members don't have the medical training to make such a decision and might later have to "step into poop" and reverse course.

On the other hand, James Walker said, "It's time. It's time" to give teachers relief from masks.

Voting in favor of the motion were Ms. Thurman, Mr. McClendon, Joe Smith and Mr. Walker.

Against were Mr. Wingate, Karitsa Jones, Tiffanie Robinson, Jenny Hill and Marco Perez. 


Latest Hamilton County Arrest Report

Upcoming City Council Agenda For Tuesday

Police Blotter: Young Women Jump Fence Into Patio Of The Blue Light; Woman Has Son Trespassed After He Is Disrespectful


Here is the latest Hamilton County arrest report: ABERCROMBIE, TYLER ROBERT HOMELESS EAST RIDGE, 374123608 Age at Arrest: 27 years old Arresting Agency: Hamilton County VIOLATION OF ... (click for more)

Here is the upcoming City Council agenda for Tuesday: I. Call to Order by Chairman Henderson. II. Pledge of Allegiance/Invocation (Councilwoman Berz). III. Special Presentation. ... (click for more)

While working an extra job at The Blue Light, 43 Station St., officers observed a group of younger black females jump over the fence area into the patio at The Blue Light. This has been observed ... (click for more)



Breaking News

Latest Hamilton County Arrest Report

Here is the latest Hamilton County arrest report: ABERCROMBIE, TYLER ROBERT HOMELESS EAST RIDGE, 374123608 Age at Arrest: 27 years old Arresting Agency: Hamilton County VIOLATION OF PROBATION (CRIMINAL IMPERSONATION) VIOLATION OF PROBATION (EVADING ARREST) VIOLATION OF PROBATION (POSSESSION OF CONTROLED SU VIOLATION OF PROBATION (THEFT OF PROPERTY UNDER 1, --- ... (click for more)

Upcoming City Council Agenda For Tuesday

Here is the upcoming City Council agenda for Tuesday: I. Call to Order by Chairman Henderson. II. Pledge of Allegiance/Invocation (Councilwoman Berz). III. Special Presentation. Joint Proclamation Honoring Former Councilperson Don Eaves By Councilman Darrin Ledford IV. Minute Approval. V. Ordinances – Final Reading: PLANNING a. 2021-0162 Lentorry ... (click for more)

Opinion

The I-75/I-24 Interchange Disaster - And Response (4)

We all waited a couple of years for the grand new interchange of I-75/I-24. Little did we know what a disaster it would become. To go right on 75 North, you must get in the left lanes. To go left to I-24, you must get in the right lanes, and that's where the deaths will occur. The overpass from the right lanes onto I-24 West has created a small mountain which brings the tractor ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: The New Samaritan

The stranger at the door was shivering and cold. He asked to use the phone to summon an Uber driver. He was barefoot and said he was homeless, so Daniel Rider loaned him a coat so the man would get warm faster. As they talked, Rider even made him a sandwich. All the while the stranger was polite, cognizant and did not appear nervous or troubled. Then the police surrounded the house ... (click for more)

Sports

Chattanooga Women Set To Host Georgia State Saturday

The Chattanooga women’s basketball team will return to The McKenzie Arena Saturday to host Georgia State, kicking off a three-game, four-day odyssey. The Mocs will host the Panthers at the Roundhouse in the first game of a double header with the men’s team. From there, UTC will travel to UAB to take on the Blazers Monday night and then to Nashville to face Vanderbilt the next ... (click for more)

John Hunt: Still More Reasons To Be Thankful

It’s hard to believe that yet another year has passed on by, but I guess it beats the alternative. Today is the one day of the year when a nation and world takes some time to express gratitude, giving thanks for all the blessings in their lives. I’ve always said that I celebrate Thanksgiving every day and that my list of things to be thankful for just continues to grow. I ... (click for more)