Johnston County School Board Folds, Reverses Earlier Decision and Will Now Require Masks for Students and Staff

[Joco Report] SMITHFIELD – Less than two weeks after voting to allow parental choice this school year on masks in Johnston County Public Schools, the Board of Education reversed that decision tonight (Tuesday) in a split vote. Students will now be required to wear face masks in all K-12 public schools.

The decision was made in part following a new report from the Johnston County Public Health Department that 14.1 percent of all patients being tested are COVID-19 positive.

School board member Kay Carroll, who made the motion for the mask mandate tonight, said, “What we’ve seen with schools that have already taken in, and the number of quarantines they’ve already experienced, and the fact that I think 80 percent of the cases now are the new Delta variant (inaudible) that we mandate masks K-12 in the school system so we can give the system, the students, the teachers and our staff the best opportunity to give them a normal school semester at least.”

Board Vice Chair Terri Sessoms seconded the motion saying, “We are now at 14.1 percent. That is the same level where we were in December when the Health Department urged us to shut the schools down. And I don’t know of any families that want schools shut down again.”

Lyn Andrews who voted for parental choice July 29th, switched her position and voted tonight for mandatory masking. […]Board members Kay Carroll, Al Byrd, Terri Sessoms and Lyn Andrews voted for mandatory masking.

Board members Ronald Johnson, Chairman Todd Sutton and Mike Wooten voted against. The mask mandate passed 4-to-3.

More from the JoCo Report.

Have a hot tip for First In Freedom Daily?

Got a hot news tip for us? Photos or video of a breaking story? Send your tips, photos and videos to All hot tips are immediately forwarded to FIFD Staff.

Have something to say? Send your own guest column or original reporting to