LINCOLN COUNTY, N.C. — Two times a day, for 20 minutes each time, Riley Pyle puts on a vest, which looks like a life vest you would find on a boat, zips it up, and turns in on. Immediately a large vibration begins, loud enough to drown out her voice and strong enough that she shakes as she speaks.
“The vest is shaking my chest to break up the mucus that accumulates in my chest,” said Pyle, a senior at Lincolnton High School.
What You Need To Know
Lincoln County School board voted during their October meeting to uphold its optional mask policy
Twenty-one speakers signed up to address members, and speakers included parents, students and doctors
The school board will vote again on its mask policy next month per state law
Pyle was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis when she was 2 and has worn the vest ever since.
She has to carefully watch her diet and take medicine with every meal.
Pyle signed up to speak to the Lincoln County School Board during their October meeting.
She, along with 20 others, signed up to speak regarding the mask policy.
When the school year began in August, students were mandated to wear masks.
During their September board meeting, members voted to reverse the policy and make masks optional for students, teachers and staff.
The new policy went into effect September 29.
“Some students still wore their masks that day, only three people in my homeroom didn’t wear them, I was surprised,” she said.
During Tuesday’s meeting, Pyle asked the school board to mandate masks again.
“I am worried about the health of students like me who are high risk, students who are under 12 who can’t get the vaccine,” Pyle said.
The board voted to uphold its current policy and keep masks optional.
Pyle said she will continue to wear her mask even though she is vaccinated because she wants to protect others and herself from getting sick.
“I really hope they listen to doctors and the health department. No matter how they vote, I will continue to wear my mask,” Pyle said.