In Richardson Texas elementary school students gear up to go to school on the first day of class by wearing masks. Governor Gregg Abbott had earlier banned mask mandates, but Richardson school being an independent school has insisted on its students wearing masks mandatorily.
Same follows in various schools of Florida, Texas and Arizona. It was noted that schools especially in democratic areas have abandoned their respective Republican governors face covers mandatory. Florida, Texas and Arizona all three were the hot spots of delta variant surge.
School Districts Battle Over Mask Mandates
Boards of Dallas, Houston, Miami and other noted urban areas recorded many paediatrics clinic getting filled with infected people. Hence these areas too are mandating masks as requirement. They have backed up their decision by quoting CDC’s latest recommendation of mask requirements for students and staff regardless of age and vaccination.
Marica Andrews, who is a member of palm beach county Florida school board said sharply that she didn’t want to play games with the virus and watch a kid die. Governors have been of the opinion that wearing masks hinders learning and is an obstacle. They believe kids rarely get seriously ill because of the disease. The mask mandates are against the free will of parents who know what is best for their kids. Governor Gregg Abbot of Texas had said while he banned mask mandates that It was Texas citizens who had to decide if masks are needed or not instead of bringing in mandatory mask rules.
Governor De Santis of Florida quoted a Brown University Study that said wearing masks at schools made only a tiny difference, it didn’t exactly analyse cases that spread from schools. This study was done for schools of New York, Florida and Massachussets. Emily Oster who is one of the authors of the Brown University study said that she definitely supported masks in schools. She also said that no body from Governor administration took advice from her amidst delta variant surge.
Dr Jessica Snowden who works as paediatric infectious disease specialist at Children’s hospital said masks have shown their effectiveness in disconnecting the virus spread among kids in Arkansas. Children are found to be benefitted by masks and it didn’t cause any harm. It was a consistent data. She believes delta variant is dangerous for children than any other previous variant. Kids are always found to adapt soon when compared to adults.
An alarming data shows that Arizona COVID-19 cases are twice than that of in June. Florida and Texas contribute to 15% of US population but more than 28% of cases of US COVID infections where only from Florida and Texas.
Mask rules in schools are different across US now. Almost 11 states have made masks mandatory. Other states are making decisions and few have left the decision to local officials. Governor Doug dacey of Arizona has banned districts from allowing virus relief pool if they have barred mask mandates.
Around two dozen districts require masks for students and staff in their schools. An Arizona group has successfully conducted a state wide voucher program has accused Doug Dacey of utilizing current COVID scenario for restoring public funding of private schools. The group has said that they are ready to fight against all abhorrent policies. Abbot himself has tested positive for COVID-19 and is been fighting the disease. But he is not budging for mask mandates.
School superintendent of Dallas school Michael Hinojosa said that no matter what they are going to keep the mask mandate intact to ensure safety of kids and staff of their schools. Few schools of Florida have adopted mask mandates after doctor’s approval.