The Rockingham County School Board was able to get through a meeting for the first time in a month Monday. The meeting was held at the Rockingham County Administration Center, which is not a school building, therefore those in attendance could choose whether to be masked or unmasked.
This has been an issue for the past two School Board meetings, which were held at schools. The most recent meeting, held on Aug. 23, was after Gov. Ralph Northam announced a mask mandate for schools. The School Board was forced to adjourn the meeting after a handful of attendees refused to put masks on.
About a quarter of attendees at Monday’s meeting chose to wear masks at the encouragement of the School Board prior to the meeting.
The crowd was also calm and behaved for the first time in months. Only three people chose to speak and did so in a respectful manner.
The three speakers were against the transgender student rights policy, against vaccine mandates, and against critical race theory.
“I really respect the tenor of those comments,” said Chairwoman Renee Reed, who mentioned that this is the first meeting in the last four or five where the School Board was able to get through public comment and in a respectful manner.