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'It's not a political statement': Longview ISD superintendent says district's new mask mandate was necessary

The district issued the mandate, which began Monday, in response to a rise in COVID-19 cases among its campuses.

LONGVIEW, Texas — Longview ISD Superintendent James Wilcox said Wednesday that the district's recently implemented mask mandate isn't political.

“Our goal is to try to help our community understand that the mask is just a piece of cloth, it’s not a political statement,” Wilcox said at Wednesday's board meeting. “We are asking our students, our staff to work to show respect to the person next to them, the person down the hall, the person that might have whatever in their life or in their family.”

The district issued the mandate, which began Monday, in response to a rise in COVID-19 cases among its campuses.

“We have multiple times over, more students and more faculty contract COVID after one week than we had at any point last year during the pandemic,” Wilcox said. “Our desire is to maintain open school, face-to-face learning.”

Read the full story with our news partners, the Longview News-Journal.