NORMAL, Ill. (WMBD/WYZZ) — At Wednesday’s special meeting of the McLean County Unit 5 School Board, the board was faced with the decision whether or not to make wearing masks optional for students this upcoming school year.

Superintendent Dr. Kristen Weikle gave a presentation and recommended masks be worn by students to begin the school year.

Following a vote, that recommendation was approved, with all board members in favor minus board member Jeremy DeHaai.

Parent opinion varied, some spoke in favor of mask wearing, while others preferred the option of choice.

Ultimately, Dr. Weikle said based on guidance at this time, students wearing masks to begin the year seems to be the right decision.

“Just given the recommendation from the CDC, the American Association of Pediatrics, IPDH, and the new information coming out about the delta variant, that really is a big difference compared to other variants or versions of COVID, and the impact that it’s having on young people so far,” said Dr. Weikle.

The board will re-evaluate this decision again on September 21. Board members all agreed, they hope eventually the students will be able to be unmasked again in school.