Masks in school : it’s complicated

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Recently, more and more states have been lifting mask mandates in their schools. In fact, more than half of all states do not have a set policy on requiring masks at educational institutes. We all know that masks are a proven way to slow down the spread of Covid-19. The average mask has three main layers: the inner material contains an absorbent material such as cotton. The middle and outer layers are made up of a non-absorbent material to protect from outside bacteria. According to www.edweek.org, “As of Dec. 10, four states have bans in effect that prevent school districts from setting universal mask mandates, according to an Education Week analysis.”

I asked Will Riley, a sophomore and a friend at Denmark Highschool, “Do you think masks should be required in schools?” He said, “Masks should be necessary if needed; people should be encouraged to wear them. If they don’t, that’s their choice and we can’t really enforce it.” President Joe Biden has launched an investigation into mask bans in multiple states with civil rights grounds on students with disabilities who may have trouble wearing masks. There are four states, Texas, Florida, Oklahoma, and Utah, who have an active mask mandate ban as of December 2021.

Georgia is still requiring masks to be worn. Currently, 16 states and the District of Columbia require masks in their schools. This could mean that Georgia could be next in removing the mask mandate in schools as more states remove the mandate, or maybe Georgia could be the last.

Decker, S., & Kim, H.-Y. (2021, August 20). Which States Ban Mask Mandates in Schools, and Which Require Masks? Education Week. https://www.edweek.org/policy-politics/which-states-ban-mask-mandates-in-schools-and-which-require-masks/2021/08

Coronavirus disease (COVID-19): Masks. (n.d.). Www.who.int. https://www.who.int/news-room/questions-and-answers/item/coronavirus-disease-covid-19-masks

https://www.usnews.com/news/best-states/articles/2021-09-14/school-mask-mandates-by-state

https://www.edweek.org/policy-politics/which-states-ban-mask-mandates-in-schools-and-which-require-masks/2021/08