By Graham Sweeney 

The Collierville Board of Education held a special called meeting on Sunday night to discuss the district’s efforts to “minimize the effects of the COVID Omicron variant on school operations.”

During the proceedings, board members agreed that there was insufficient support to enforce a recommended temporary mask mandate. 

Superintendent Gary Li-
lly noted that there are currently 42 employees who have tested positive for COVID and 47 staff members who have “been exposed.” 

He added that all 10 Collierville Schools have been affected by the COVID resurgence and that the district “has only 60 available substitutes.” 

He concluded that he was concerned if “mitigation measures are not put in place, schools will need to close for lack of available staff.”

Pos. 2 Board Member Wanda Chism opposed a mask mandate but asked that families voluntarily “choose to mask for two weeks to slow the community spread of Omicron.”

Pos. 3 Board Member Paul Childers said that current COVID numbers for infected school employees “do not justify a mask mandate.” 

He added that he would encourage voluntary masking, including for his own child at Collierville High School. 

Pos. 1 Member Wanda Gibbs said that COVID numbers have heightened since December and that she would support a “temporary mask mandate.”

Pos. 4 Board Member Frank Warren said that he was hesitant to remove the choice to mask from parents and opposed a mandate “at this time.”

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