Across the nation, COVID-19 has left parents uneasy, pitting them at odds with one another and school decision-makers. Some believe masks are necessary while others believe the masks are unwarranted. School districts have to navigate the conflicting opinions of parents and faculty.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released an update on mask recommendations with exceptions.
“You can resume activities without wearing a mask or staying 6 feet apart, except where required by federal, state, local, tribal, or territorial laws, rules, and regulations, including local business and workplace guidance,” said the CDC.
So how are school districts handling the face mask issue?
America’s schools continue to revisit the face mask topic. A school board in Santa Rosa County, Florida met with some disgruntled parents. The vote was unanimous among school board members to make the face masks optional.
According to a PBS.org article, a concerned parent, Cynthia Licharowicz, wanted her child to see the mask as an option.
“The mask is a personal choice, and I wore it at the beginning, but I just decided that it wasn’t about the mask anymore,” said Licharowicz. “So I decided to take it off, and I wanted my child to have the same choice.”
PBS.org contrasted Licharowicz’s sentiment with that of another parent. Christie Black was puzzled by those who wish to do away with face mask requirements. Black, a concerned parent of two in Arizona, described her thoughts on the issue.
“I am so frustrated… I don’t see any harm in wearing masks, and there is potential harm in not wearing a mask,” said Black.
Her school district decided to make face masks optional.
Government officials have joined the conversation on face masks. The governor of South Carolina, Henry McMaster, believes it’s ridiculous that students were required to wear face masks.
“It is the height of ridiculosity for a school district to make that decision for the parents, particularly since we’ve known even when the virus was rampant that the schools, the classrooms were the safest places of all,” said McMaster.
And over in Central Iowa, the mask requirement varies from district to district. In a May 18 news update, it was shared that the Ankeny Community School District opted to maintain the mask mandate for the rest of the school year. Yet, the mask will be optional to participants in summer school and summer activities. The Saydel Community School District adjusted its mask rule for outdoor activities. Masks will continue to be required indoors. For outdoor activities, masks are simply recommended.
UPDATE: As of May 20, Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds signed a bill that bans mask mandates in public schools.
The health concerns associated with COVID-19 come with an onslaught of opinions and ideas on how it should or should not be handled in our schools. As a parent, grandparent, or teacher, we understand you want what’s best for your child’s education.
How is your school district handling face mask policies? What are your thoughts on the issue?