Some people believe this is the right time to make masking in schools optional, while others say Baker’s decision is dangerous.
Massachusetts parents, teachers, and leaders seem divided about whether Gov. Charlie Baker’s decision to lift the statewide school mask mandate will be good for school communities.
On Wednesday, the president of the Massachusetts Medical Society (MMS) came out with modest support for the decision.
“Cautiously relaxing in-school masking mandates given recent encouraging public health metrics is appropriate at this time, but we must watch local metrics closely and be prepared to swiftly reinstate all proven preventive measures if the number of positive cases spike in a school or community,” said Dr. Carole E. Allen, a pediatrician and president of MMS.
But, according to 7News Boston, Massachusetts Teachers Association President Merrie Najimy was skeptical of the decision.
“We all want to return to as much normalcy as possible, but to do it safely, we can’t just throw caution to the wind and drop the mask mandate the day students return from February vacation,” she said.
“We have enough experience with school vacations to know that there will likely be a surge upon return. We have consistently followed the CDC guidelines and the CDC has not changed their guidelines on masking yet.”
Many Twitter users expressed similar concern that the mask mandate would be lifted right after February break given that families often travel during that time.
Others were simply dismayed that masking may no longer be uniform in their schools, which will lessen their efficacy.
One user pointed out that lifting the mask mandate will put the burden of deciding whether to make masking mandatory or optional on local school districts.
This will likely put them in the crossfire between parents and teachers who want mandatory masking, and those that want masking to be optional.
But others were supportive of the move, either because they want parental choice when it comes to masking children, or because they believe the time is right to get rid of masks in schools.
Here’s what other Twitter users are saying:
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